Striped Skunk

Striped Skunks are easily identified by the pattern of black and white stripes in their fur. They often have a thin white stripe that runs down their forehead to the nose. They have a bushy black and white tail, short ears, and a triangular-shaped head. If they perceive a threat, the Skunk will enact a warning display by stomping their feet and arching their back with a raised tail. If they still feel threatened, they will then spray.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Mephitis mephitis
CLASSIFICATION
Mammal
LIFE SPAN
1-7 Years
SIZE
18-32 ” | 2-14 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Unprotected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Non-Game
GAME TYPE
None
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

A Striped Skunk will make a home in abandoned burrows, hollowed trees or logs, or under brush that offers cover. They prefer areas that are near water sources, but have been seen in the drier desert areas of southern Nevada.

  • Agricultural Lands
  • Desert Playas
  • Developed Landscapes

Threats

  • Disease

Natural History

These omnivores are opportunistic feeders and have an adaptable diet based on food availability. However, 80-90% of its diet is animal-based; typically birds, lizards, rodents, even eggs and insects. Skunks are polygamous and will mate with more than once every breeding season with multiple partners. Breeding season typically occurs from February to April.

Fun Facts

Their odiferous and intense spray is an important defense mechanism which encourages most mammals to avoid the Skunk. However, large birds of prey, like great horned owls and eagles, are unaffected by the smell and will prey on the Striped Skunk.