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Conepatus chinga

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CARNIVORA MEPHITIDAE

Scientific Name: Conepatus chinga
Species Authority: (Molina, 1782)
Common Name/s:
English Molina's Hog-nosed Skunk
Spanish Zorrino Común
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 group and should be recognized as a single family, Mephitidae (Wozencraft 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Emmons, L. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer/s: Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread in a region of relatively intact habitat, and although subject to hunting and habitat loss is not believed to be declining fast enough to warrant listing in a higher category of threat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is found in mid to southern South America. It occurs from southern Peru through Bolivia south to Uruguay, western Paraguay, and central Chile into Argentina where it is found as far south as Neuquén province (Redford and Eisenberg, 1992). The species has been also observed in in different localities in South Brazil: São Paulo (De Vivo and Gregorin, 2001); at south São Paulo and Paraná (Cáceres, 2004); at eastern Paraná and eastern Santa Catarina (Cimardi, 1996).
Countries:
Native:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Chile; Paraguay; Peru; Uruguay
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is locally common. Density value reported for Chile is 5 individuals/km2 (Cofré et al., 1999).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Little is known about Conepatus chinga ecology. It seems to forage solitarily during the night in open savannas and in arid and shrubby areas (Cabrera and Yepes, 1960; Mares et al., 1996), capturing arthropods (mainly beetles and arachnids) and occasionally small mammals and preying on eggs and fledling birds (Cabrera and Yepes, 1960; Redford and Eisenberg, 1992; Mares et al. 1996). Hog-nosed skunks are morphologically (Howard and Marsh, 1982) and behaviorally (Donadio et al. 2001) adapted to feeding on ground and underground fauna, particularly invertebrates. During rest periods, it perfers the seclusion offered by shrub forests and rocky slope areas (Donadio et al. 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Skunks were heavily hunted for their fur in Argentina during the 1970s and early 1980s (Gruss and Waller 1988). Additionally extensive areas of skunk habitat, including the Patagonian steppe, have been severely degraded due to overgrazing and soil erosion by livestock (primarily sheep) and feral, exotic species (Dinerstein et al. 1995; Novaro et al. 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Suggested actions needed to revert the decline of native species living in the Patagonian steppe include: prevent new introductions; create protected areas in the Patagonian steppe where livestock are excluded and the ecological role of native large fauna is restored; study other consequences of the introduction of exotic species and the ecological extinction of native ones (Novaro et al., 2000). It is also considered necessary to include species of Conepatus in CITES Appndix II in order to obtain data on the trade in the different species, to estimate the exploitation level, and to enforce a better control of the exports, and to avoid that one of the species exported under the name of any of the other species (IUCN-SSC, 1992).

Bibliography [top]

Cabrera, A. and Yepes, J. 1960. Mamíferos Sudamericanos. Ediar, Buenos Aires.

Cáceres, N. C. 2004. Occurrence of Conepatus chinga (Molina) (Mammalia, Carnivora, Mustelidae) and other terrestrial mammals in the Serra do Mar, Paraná, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 21(3): 577–579.

Cimardi, A. V. 1996. Mamíferos de Santa Catarina. FATMA, Florianópolis.

Cofre, H. and Marquet, P. A. 1999. Conservation status, rarity, and geographic priorities for conservation of Chilean mammals: an assessment. Biological Conservation 88: 53-68.

de Vivo, M. and Gregorin, R. 2001. Mamíferos. In: C. Leonel (ed.), Intervales: Fundação Para Conservação e a Produção Florestal do Estado de São Paulo.

Dinerstein, E., Olson, D. M., Graham, D. J., Webster, A. L., Primm, S. A., Bookbinder, M. P. and Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assessment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. The World Bank and World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC, USA.

Donadio, E., Martino, S., di, Aubone, M. and Novaro, A. J. 2001. Activity patterns, home-range, and habitat selection of the common hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus chinga (Mammmalia, Mustelidae), in north-western Patagonia. Mammalia 65: 49-54.

Gruss, J. and Waller, T. 1989. Diagnóstico y recomendaciones sobre la administración de recursos silvestres en Argentina: la década reciente. In: Traffic Sud América (ed.). WWF, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Howard, W. H. and Marsh, R. E. 1982. Spotted and hog-nosed skunks. In: J. A. Chapman and G. A. Feldhammer (eds), Wild Mammals of North America, pp. 1147. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

IUCN/SSC Mustelid, Viverrid and Procyonid Specialist Group. 1992. Better protection for the Hog-nosed skunk? Small Carnivore Conservation 6.

Mares, M. A., Barquez, R. M., Braun, J. K. and Ojeda, R. A. 1996. Observations on the mammals of Tucuman Province, Argentina. I. Systematics, distribution, and ecology of the Didelphimorphia, Xenarthra, Chiroptera, Primates, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Lagomorpha. Annals of Carnegie Museum 65: 89-152.

Novaro, A. J., Funes, M. C. and Walker, R. S. 2000. Ecological extinction of native prey of a carnivore assemblage in Argentine Patagonia. Biological Conservation 92: 25-33.

Redford, K. H. and Eisenberg, J. F. 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics, The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Wozencraft, W. C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Third Edition, pp. 532-628. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. 2008. Conepatus chinga. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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