Sunday, May 17, 2009


Females are monestrous, but they occasionally can have a

second estrous if the first pregnancy is unsuccessful. Mating

takes place from mid-February until mid-March. The gestation

period is between 60 and 77 days, with delayed implantation

probably involved. Usually, five or six young are born in each

litter. At birth, baby striped skunks are blind, deaf, and extremely

immature. They nurse for about a month and a half in the

mother's den. Fully weaned, the young then follow the mother

about, finally breaking from the family about a year after

reaching adult size.



Striped skunks are nocturnal, sleeping during the day in

underground burrows and emerging around dusk to search for

food. They prefer to use burrows made by other animals of

equal size or natural burrows under tree stumps or buildings.

They use their long front claws to build their own den if


Both males and females undergo periods of inactivity from

November until March. Females often remain in their winter

dens for the entire winter, but males usually emerge during

mild temperature periods to feed. Winter dens usually consist

of six females and their young. One male sometimes

occupies a den with females, but usually lives alone in its

own den.

Baby Skunk

Food Habits

A skunk is a true omnivore, eating a vast assortment

of things including insects, small crustation,mammals,birds and

eggs, fruits, grasses,

leaves, buds, grains, nuts, and carrion. Insects make up

approximately 70% of their diet. Striped skunks often attack the

nests of colonial insects, such as bees and ants. When

attacking a bee hive, they wait for the angry bees to emerge

from the hive, then bat them out of the air and eat them.

Striped skunks are opportunistic and diet changes depending

on the time of year and available resources.

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