The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is looking for people interested in using their own game cameras as part of a study to determine the current distribution of the spotted skunk in Arkansas. Participants would be given directions on how to place the cameras and the best bait to use to attract spotted skunks to the camera site and would be asked to leave the cameras out for at least 21 nights, checking the site and downloading photos on a weekly basis. Participants will need to have permission of the landowner to place game cameras, own at least one game camera and preferably possess a GPS unit or other method with which the geographic coordinates of the camera sites can be obtained. Participants will need to complete an official Arkansas Game and Fish Commission application that will be sent to them after submission of contact information using the link below.
The plains spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius interrupta), sometimes known as the civet or civet cat, is a small carnivore found in the Great Plains and the southeastern United States ranging up the Appalachian Mountains to Pennsylvania. At one time the species was a commonly taken furbearer with annual harvests in some midwestern states measured in tens of thousands. The spotted skunk was never abundant in Arkansas, but while once found across the state but is now observed primarily in the Ozarks and Ouachitas. The cause of the decline hasn’t been determined, but possible explanations include loss of farm and fencerow habitat that had been commonly utilized by this species, pesticides, and disease.
The spotted skunk is quite a bit smaller than the striped skunk with which most people are familiar and is only about the size of a large squirrel. During the summer months they primarily eat insects, but in the winter they switch to rabbits, mice, and other small mammals. It commonly dens in burrows made by other animals, in burned root systems, in rocky outcrops, woodrat nests, or in ground level tree or log cavities. It is best known for its habit of warning those that threaten it with making a quick series of handstands before spraying its musk.
Thank you for your time and input in the Arkansas Spotted Skunk Survey.
There are 10 questions in this survey.
All responses and information will be kept confidential and only be used if we have a question and need to contact you.