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Camera-trapping Survey for Plains Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius interrupta) in Eastern Oklahoma

KaLynn D. Branham1,* and Victoria L. Jackson1

1Department of Biology, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK 73034. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist,Volume 20, Special Issue 11 (2021): 64–73

Once known as a regularly harvested fur bearer, Spilogale putorius (Eastern Spotted Skunk) has experienced drastic population decline and is now considered a species of conservation concern throughout much of its range. In an effort to contribute to distribution and habitat presence data in Oklahoma, we surveyed 95 locations using camera traps during the months of October and April (2018–2019 and 2019–2020) attempting to detect the S. p. interrupta (Plains Spotted Skunk) subspecies. We began surveying the Ouachita National Forest in eastern Oklahoma and broadened our survey to include areas of recently confirmed sightings. We only detected Eastern Spotted Skunks in 5 of the 95 locations that were surveyed, during 12 of the 5287 trap nights, and 13 of the 2085 mammal detections. Although we had low trap success, we believe our results are useful in supporting the rarity of, or difficulty detecting, this species. Additionally, the information resulting from this study should be useful in establishing a basis for continued sampling in Oklahoma and providing information to improve sampling technique and design when researching this species.

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