Molina's hog-nosed skunk

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

Molina's hog-nosed skunk, also called the Andes skunk (Conepatus chinga), is a skunk species from South America. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, at elevations up to 5000 m.

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/km² with some overlapping and about six skunks per 3.5 km².[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 from 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.; Schiaffini, M.; Schipper, J. (2016). "Conepatus chinga". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T41630A45210528. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41630A45210528.en.
  2. ^ a b c Afflerbaugh, Kevin (2002). "Conepatus chinga". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Kasper, Carlos B.; et al. (2012). "Differential patterns of home-range, net displacement and resting sites use of Conepatus chinga in southern Brazil". Mammalian Biology. 77 (5): 358–362. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2012.03.006.
  4. ^ Castillo, D. F.; et al. (2011). "Spatial organization of Molina's hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus chinga) in two landscapes of the Pampas grassland of Argentina". Canadian Journal of Zoology. 89 (3): 229–238. doi:10.1139/Z10-110.
  5. ^ Peters, Felipe Bortolotto; et al. (April 2011). "Feeding Habits of Molina's Hog-Nosed Skunk, Conepatus Chinga (Carnivora: Mephitidae) In The Extreme South of Brazil". Zoologia (Curitiba). 28 (2): 193. doi:10.1590/S1984-46702011000200006. The grinding function of the carnassial ap-paratus in skunks (Vaughan et al. 1999) is considered to be appropriate for a diet with a predominance of beetles: small prey that offer lower physical resistance.
  6. ^ a b Castillo, Diego F.; et al. (July 2011). "Denning ecology of Molina's hog-nosed skunk in a farmland area in the Pampas grassland of Argentina". Ecological Research. The Ecological Society of Japan. 26 (4): 845–850. doi:10.1007/s11284-011-0855-y. Increasing habitat destruction and fragmentation has a tremendous influence on mesocarnivore communities.