Conepatus humboldtii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Conepatus humboldtii
Species Authority: Gray, 1837
Common Name/s:
English Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk, Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk
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)
This species is listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread in an area of relatively intact habitat and it is common, sometimes occurring at high densities (Cofré et al., 1999).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is found in southern Argentina and adjacent parts of Chile (Redford and Eisenberg, 1989).
Argentina; Chile
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Olrog and Lucero (1980) state that it is locally common in Argentina. Some indication that the numbers ofC. humboldtii have decreased (Broad et al., 1988), but the numbers killed each year in Patagonia are not known and unpublished data show that population levels have been stable from 1989 to 1993. Population density value estimated for Chile is 89 individuals/km2 (Cofré et al. 1999).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat use for Patagonian hog-nose skunks ranges from grass and shrub land to rocky outcroppings. They may also be found around human dwellings (e.g. houses, sheds, etc.). C. humboldtii is found at elevations from 200 to 700 m above sea level (Fuller et al., 1987). This species is solitary and active mainly at night. Home ranges of individual skunks may overlap and range from 9.7 ha to 16.4 ha. Patagonian hog-nosed skunks forage exclusively in green grassy areas (Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Fuller et al. 1987). They primarily eat insects but may also feed on small mammals, shrubs, and fruit in addition to insects. (Fuller et al. 1987)
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The pelts of C. humboldtii were exported a great deal between 1960 and 1980 although of lesser value than other Conepatus species. In 1983, C. humboldtii was protected against export in Argentina and Chile. These animals are apparently still used in the pet trade (Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conepatus humboldtii is listed on the CITES Appendix II (Fuller et al. 1987).

Bibliography [top]

Broad, S., Luxmoore, R. and Jenkins, M. 1988. Significant Trade in Wildlife: a review of selected species in CITES Appendix II. Volume 1: Mammals. IUCN/CITES.

Chapman, J. and Feldhamer, G. 1982. Wild Animals of North America. Biology, Management, and Economics. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA and London, UK.

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.

Fuller, T., Johnson, W., Franklin, W. and Johnson, K. 1987. Notes on the Patagonian hognosed skunk (Conepatus humboldtii) in southern Chile. Journal of Mammology 68(4): 864-867.

Olrog, C. C. and Lucero, M. M. 1981. Guia de los Mamiferos Argentinos. Ministerio de Cultura y Educación, Fundación Miguel Lillo, Tucuman, Argentina.

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 humboldtii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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