Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) survival and cause-specific mortality in the ouachita mountains, Arkansas

Damon B. Lesmeister, Joshua J. Millspaugh, Matthew E. Gompper, Tony W. Mong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Survival and cause-specific mortality of eastern spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius) was assessed for a radio-monitored population in the Ouachita Mountains of westcentral Arkansas, USA. We monitored 33 eastern spotted skunks over a 23 mo period. Mean annual survival was 0.354 (0.339-0.368, 95 CI), and survival estimates were similar across age and sex categories. Survival increased for males as measures of body condition index increased. This pattern was reversed for females, although interpretation of the patterns is potentially confounded by female reproductive status. Of 19 mortality events, 63 (12) were caused by avian predators, most likely great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), 26 (5) were caused by mammalian predators, and 11 (2) were due to unknown causes. Although eastern spotted skunks are known to avoid open areas and forested areas where the understory is less dense and the canopy more open, 11 of 12 avian-caused deaths occurred in mature shortleaf pine stands with an open canopy and herbaceous understory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume164
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) survival and cause-specific mortality in the ouachita mountains, Arkansas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this