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Where do skunks live?

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Skunks are mild-mannered rodents infamously known for their horrible-smelling sulfuric liquid which basically serves as a defense mechanism against predators. Skunks are primarily nocturnal animals. They stay in hiding at daytime and hunt for food at night and they are also solitary.



Skunks' natural habitat
Stripped skunks are autochthonous to North America but can however be seen also in the northern parts of Canada. The spotted and hog-nosed skunks are domiciled further south, particularly in Canada, Central America and North America. Stink badgers as some recent studies suggest, can only be seen in Southeast Asia, especially in some places in Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia)

Where do they live?
Skunks live in burrows or dens. In some cases, they dig the burrow themselves using their strong and sharp claws. At other times too, skunks may take over abandoned dens constructed by other animals like the woodchuck or fox, and then make their own nests inside it. A skunk's burrow is usually built in chambers and lined with grass, leaves and hay. The typically skunk den has many entrances (from about four).

Aside from dens, skunks also nest in closed places like hollow logs, under brushes, open prairies, woodpiles, under porches, sheds, basements, culverts, garage, abandoned or incomplete buildings. They also reside in open lands, clearings, pastures and bordering forests. Furthermore, in prairies, skunks sometimes seek succor in thickets and timbre fringes usually close to water bodies.

Skunks in rural, wild and urban areas
They are calm and tolerant creatures. A skunk will not spray at you unless it feels threatened. They do not seem to discriminate between urban, rural and wild environments, but can live anywhere provided there is nearby and easy access to water supply. Usually, skunks do not travel beyond 1 to 2 miles away from their den except during their mating season when they may go father. Read about How to keep skunks away.

Skunks will nest in any location where food supply is available for the taking. This explains why they thrive around human residential areas. In summary, water supply, shelter and food are major determinants of where a skunk will live, whether rural, wild or urban.

Go back to the Skunk Removal page, or learn tips by reading How to get rid of skunks.

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