Molina's hog-nosed skunk

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Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Chingue (Conepatus chinga) Inao Vásquez 001.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Conepatus
Species: C. chinga
Binomial name
Conepatus chinga
(Molina, 1782)
Molina's Hog-nosed Skunk area.png
Molina's hog-nosed skunk range

The Molina’s Hog-Nosed Skunk, Conepatus chinga, is similar to the common skunk with scent glands used to spray an odorous liquid to offend potential predators. However, they also have a resistance to pit viper venom to defend themselves in the environment that they live. They also have distinct thin white markings and a distinct pink, hog-like, fleshy nose.

Habitat[edit]

The Molina’s Hog-Nosed Skunk’s native range is throughout mid to southern South America, Chile, Peru, northern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.[2] The mammal is therefore associated with temperate regions and open areas, mainly described as the Pampas biome[3] and preferring to live in open vegetation, shrub forest and rocky sloped areas.[2]

Population and Distribution[edit]

Typically they will live alone in an average home range size of about 1.66 individuals/km^2 with some overlapping and about six skunks per 3.5 km^2.[4] Although living in mostly solitary areas, the skunks will come together temporarily for mating purposes.[2]

Diet[edit]

Foraging mainly at night, the skunk is omnivorous eating birds, small mammals, eggs, insects, leaves, and fruit. The tooth morphology in the molina’s hog-nosed skunk, is different than most mammals in that their teeth are adapted to their omnivorous diet with grinding being the main function of the carnassial apparatus.[5]

Conservation Status[edit]

The skunk is listed as “Least Concerned” according to the IUCN Redlist. The main threats of the skunk are increased habitat destruction and fragmentation[6] from over exploitation of humans and grazing of agriculture. The skunk is also affected by the planning of new roads and road-kills. Due to improper planning, habitat destruction, and fragmentation, the skunk has started living around man-made structures and along fences and buildings.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. (2008). Conepatus chinga. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b c [Afflerbaugh, K. 2002. "Conepatus chinga" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed September 10, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Conepatus_chinga/]
  3. ^ [Kasper, C. B, et al. “Differential patterns of home-range, net displacement and resting sites use of Conepatus chinga in southern Brazil. Mammalian Biology 77 (2012): 358-362. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 October. 2013.]
  4. ^ [Castillo, D.F., et al. “Spatial organization of Molina’s hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus chinga) in two landscapes of the Pampas grassland of Argentina.” Canadian Journal of Zoology 89 (2011): 229-238. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 October. 2013]
  5. ^ [Felipe Bortolotto, et al. “Feeding Habits of Molina’s Hog-Nosed Skunk, Conepatus Chinga (Carnivora: Mephitidae) In The Extreme South of Brazil.” Zoologia (Curitiba) 2 (2011): 193. Directory of Open Access Journals. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.]
  6. ^ a b [Castillo, D.F., et al. 2011. “Denning ecology of Molina’s hog-nosed skunk in a farmland area in the Pampas grassland of Argentina.” The Ecological Society of Japan 26: 845-850. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 November. 2013.]