Conepatus humboldtii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mephitidae

Scientific Name: Conepatus humboldtii 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 recognised as a single 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): Emmons, L. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W.
This species is listed as Least Concern because it is widespread in an area of relatively little-encroached habitat and it is common, sometimes occurring at high densities (Cofré and Marquet 1999).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is found in southern Argentina and adjacent parts of Chile (Redford and Eisenberg 1989).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Chile
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Olrog and Lucero (1981) state that it is locally common in Argentina. There is some indication that the numbers of C. humboldtii have decreased (Broad et al. 1988), but the numbers killed each year in Patagonia are not known and unpublished data show that population levels have been stable from 1989 to 1993.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 and Marquet 1999).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat use for Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk ranges from grass and shrub land to rocky outcroppings. It 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 Skunk forages exclusively in green grassy areas (Chapman and Feldhamer 1982, Fuller et al. 1987). It primarily eats insects, but may also feed on small mammals, shrubs, and fruit (Fuller et al. 1987).

Use and Trade [top]

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

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).

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

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.

Cofré, 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.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

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.

Schiaffini, M.I., Gabrielli, M., Prevosti, F.J., Cardoso, Y.P., Castillo, D., Bo, R., Casanave, E. and Lizarralde, M. 2013. Taxonomic status of southern South American Conepatus (Carnivora: Mephitidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 167: 327-344.

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. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Citation: Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. 2016. Conepatus humboldtii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41631A45210677. . Downloaded on 15 December 2017.
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