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Wires, L.R. and R.J. Baker. 1994. Distribution of the spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) in Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 14 pp.


Spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) populations have appeared to steadily, decline over the last 50 years in Minnesota. In January 1993 a study to determine the status and distribution of this species in Minnesota was undertaken by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Nongame Wildlife Program. A "Wanted" poster was developed and distributed across the state to solicit information from the public and from various agencies and institutions about this species' current distribution. Trapper records reporting. spotted skunk takes from the last 5 years were reviewed. Information regarding the survey was released to the press, and ads we're run in magazines and newsletters. Letters requesting information were sent to all licensed fur buyers in the state, and to several museums and universities around the midwest. A map showing the species' current distribution by county was developed based on these data, and habitat types where skunks were seen were recorded. Efforts were made to verify spotted skunk sightings by telephone calls, and by various trapping efforts in counties with strong reports. Potential areas to search for spotted skunk populations were found. Because of the species apparent rareness, we recommend that the spotted skunk's status be changed from "Special Concern" to "Threatened".

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