Mephitis macroura 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mephitidae

Scientific Name: Mephitis macroura Lichtenstein, 1832
Common Name(s):
English Hooded Skunk
French Moufette à capuchon
Spanish Zorillo
Taxonomic Notes: While many authors have traditionally considered skunks a subfamily (Mephitinae) within Mustelidae, recent molecular evidence indicates that skunks do not lie within the mustelid family and should be recognised as a separate family, Mephitidae (Wozencraft 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-01
Assessor(s): Cuarón, A.D., González-Maya, J.F., Helgen, K., Reid, F., Schipper, J. & Dragoo, J.W.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W.
This species is listed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution range, is present in a variety of habitats, is common across its range (Hwang and Lariviere 2001) and is tolerant of human activities. It is suspected that the species population is increasing in some regions.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Mephitis macroura occurs from the southern United States (southwestern Texas, southwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona), throughout Mexico, into Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northwest Costa Rica. (Hall 1981, Janzen and Hallwachs 1982, Rosatte 1987, Reid 1997, Dragoo 2009). There are no recent records from Texas (Dragoo 2009, J.W. Dragoo pers. comm. 2016).
Countries occurrence:
El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; United States
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2440
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little is known of the population dynamics of Hooded Skunk (Rosatte 1987,Dragoo 2009). The species is common in Costa Rica (F. Reid pers. comm. 2008), and very abundant in Mexico (Hwang and Lariviere 2001). There are no recent records from Texas but it is quite common in Arizona (Schmidly 2004, Dragoo 2009, J.W. Dragoo pers. comm. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Hooded Skunk is most common in the arid lowlands (Davis and Russell 1954), but also occurs in deciduous or ponderosa forest, forest edges, pastures, rocky canyons, and riparian habitats (Baker 1956, Findley et al. 1975, Janzen and Hallwachs 1982). This species seems to benefit from human-disturbed areas and can be abundant around human populations. Typically, M. macroura occurs from sea level to 2,440 m (Hubbard 1972), but it was also found at higher elevations in Mexico (Davis and Russell 1954) and in Arizona (Hoffmeister 1986). In Guerrero, Mexico, the species is widespread but scattered below 1,830 m (Davis and Lukens 1958). In Mexico, Hooded Skunk individuals occupy home ranges of 2.8–5.0 km² (Ceballos and Miranda 1986). It consumes mainly insects, fruits, small vertebrates, and bird eggs (Patton 1974, Reid 2009). In Arizona, U.S.A., where it overlaps with Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis, competition between the two is minimal (Hass and Dragoo in press). The life history is discussed in Dragoo and Hass in prep.). The various parasites and diseases are discussed in Hass and Dragoo (2006) and Dragoo and Hass in (prep.).
Generation Length (years):4.7

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: For information on use and trade, see under Threats.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hooded Skunk is not threatened. In Mexico, it is very abundant and survives in human-altered habitats such as cultivated fields, pastures, and suburban areas (Hwang and Larivière 2001). However, its meat is desired in some areas (Davis 1944) while other parts have some other uses in Guatemala and Mexico (Dalquest 1953, Reid 2009). It is subject to control as a nuisance animal in some areas, but there is no evidence that this is a threat except potntially at the most local of levels

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species does not have any specific protection status in Central America (de la Rosa and Nocke 2000).

Citation: Cuarón, A.D., González-Maya, J.F., Helgen, K., Reid, F., Schipper, J. & Dragoo, J.W. 2016. Mephitis macroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41634A45211135. . Downloaded on 22 August 2018.
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