Distribution and relative abundance of eastern spotted skunk records across their range

  • Authors: Perry, Roger W.; Sasse, D. Blake; Perkins, J. Clint; Sharp, Nicholas W.
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Southeastern Naturalist

Abstract

Evidence suggests the range of Spilogale putorius (Eastern Spotted Skunk) has contracted and its abundance has declined in the past 70 years, leading to conservation concerns. We summarized county records of Eastern Spotted Skunks collected during 2000–2020 to determine the current range and relative abundance of the species. We accumulated 1174 records from 257 counties across its historic range in the United States, with 901 records from 197 counties considered verified. Verified records included museum specimens, photo-documented occurrences, and captures by researchers. We created 2 distribution maps: one of their current range based on all occurrence records and another from only verified records. Records indicated the Eastern Spotted Skunk persisted across a large portion of its historic range, and is relatively abundant in the Interior Highlands, Appalachian Mountains, central Texas, central South Dakota, and south Florida. Our results also suggest that the species’ overall range has contracted since 1959. Regions with a relatively high abundance of current records covered a variety of ecosystems, including agricultural areas, grasslands, woodlands, and forests. These data provide managers with information concerning where research and conservation efforts can be focused for this potentially declining species.

  • Citation: Perry, Roger W.; Sasse, D. Blake; Perkins, J. Clint; Sharp, Nicholas W. 2021. Distribution and relative abundance of eastern spotted skunk records across their range. Southeastern Naturalist. 20(Special Issue 11): 13-23.
  • Keywords: Spilogale putorius, eastern spotted skunk, distribution
  • Posted Date: August 9, 2021
  • Modified Date: August 9, 2021
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.