Molina's hog-nosed skunk
|Molina's hog-nosed skunk|
|Molina's hog-nosed skunk range|
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.
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. The mammal is therefore associated with temperate regions and open areas, mainly described as the Pampas biome and preferring to live in open vegetation, shrub forest and rocky sloped areas.
Population and Distribution
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. Although living in mostly solitary areas, the skunks will come together temporarily for mating purposes.
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.
The skunk is listed as “Least Concerned” according to the IUCN Redlist. The main threats of the skunk are increased habitat destruction and fragmentation 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.
- Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. (2008). Conepatus chinga. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
- [Afflerbaugh, K. 2002. "Conepatus chinga" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed September 10, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Conepatus_chinga/]
- [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.]
- [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]
- [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.]
- [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.]
- The Andes: A Trekking Guide