Mephitis macroura 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mephitidae

Scientific Name: Mephitis macroura
Species Authority: Lichtenstein, 1832
Common Name(s):
English Hooded Skunk
French Moufette À Capuchon
Spanish Zorillo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & 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 has a wide distribution range, is present in a variety of habitats and is common across its range (Hwang and Lariviere, 2001) and is tolerant to human activities. It is suspected that the species population is increasing in some regions.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: M. 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; Reid, 1997; Rosatte, 1987).
Countries occurrence:
El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; United States
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 skunks (Rosatte, 1987). The species is common in Costa Rica and not uncommon in Arizona (Reid pers. comm.). The species is very abundant in Mexico (Hwang and Lariviere 2001). The species seems to be more common in human disturbed areas.
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). In Mexico, hooded skunks occupy home ranges of 2.8–5.0 km2 (Ceballos and Miranda, 1986). 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, hooded skunks are widespread but scattered below 1,830 m (Davis and Lukens, 1958). The hooded skunk mainly consumes insects, fruits, small vertebrates, and bird eggs (Patton, 1974; Reid, 1997). This species seems to benefit from human distrurbed areas and can be abundant around human populations.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Hooded skunks are not threatened. In Mexico, they are very abundant and survive 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 are used for some other uses in Guatemala and Mexico (Reid, 1997; Dalquest, 1953).

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
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
8. Desert -> 8.2. Desert - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Marginal  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
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

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Baker, R. H. 1956. Mammals of Coahuila, Mexico. Museum of Natural History, pp. 125-135. University of Kansas Publications.

Ceballos, G. and Miranda, A. 1986. Los mamíferos de Chamela, Jalisco: manual de campo. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, México City, Mexico.

Dalquest, W. W. 1953. Mammals of the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.

Davis, W.B. 1944. Notes on Mexican mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 25: 370–403.

Davis, W. B. and Lukens Jr., D. J. 1958. Mammals of the Mexican state of Guerrero, exclusive of Chiroptera and Rodentia. Journal of Mammalogy 39: 347-367.

Davis, W. B. and Russell, R. J. 1954. Mammals of the Mexican state of Morelos. Journal of Mammalogy 35: 63-80.

de la Rosa, C. L. and Nocke, C. C. 2000. A Guide to the Carnivores of Central America: Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, USA.

Dragoo, J. W. and Honeycutt, L. 1997. Systematics of mustelid-like carnivores. Journal of Mammalogy 78: 426-443.

Findley, J. S., Harris, A. H., Wilson, D. E. and Jones, C. E. 1975. Mammals of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Hall, E.R. 1981. The Mammals of North America. John Wiley and Sons, New York, USA.

Hoffmeister, D. F. 1986. Mammals of Arizona. University of Arizona Press and Arizona Game and Fish Department, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Hubbard, J. P. 1972. Hooded skunk on the Mongolian Plateau, New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 16: 458.

Hwang, Y. and Larivière, S. 2001. Mephitis macroura. Mammalian Species 686: 1-3.

Janzen, D. H. and Hallwachs, W. 1982. The hooded skunk, Mephitis macroura, in lowland northwestern Costa Rica. Brenesia 19-20: 549–552.

Patton, R. F. 1974. Ecological and behavioural relationships of the skunks of Trans Pecos Texas. Texas A&M University.

Reid, F. 2009. A field guide to the mammals of Central America and southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Rosatte, R. C. 1987. Striped, Spotted, Hooded, and Hog-nosed Skunk. In: M. Novak, J. A. Baker, M. E. Obbard and B. Malloch (eds), Wild furbearer management and conservation in North America, pp. 1150 pp.. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Trappers Association, Ontario, Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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: Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. 2008. Mephitis macroura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41634A10524490. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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