Main content area

Activity patterns of Molina’s hog-nosed skunk in two areas of the Pampas grassland (Argentina) under different anthropogenic pressure

Castillo, D.F., Luengos Vidal, E.M., Caruso, N.C., Casanave, E.B., Lucherini, M.
Ethology, ecology & evolution 2015 v.27 no.4 pp. 379-388
Conepatus chinga, anthropogenic activities, cold season, cropland, females, food availability, grasslands, males, predation, radio telemetry, risk, skunks, warm season, Argentina
This study describes and compares the activity patterns of free-ranging Molina’s hog-nosed skunks (Conepatus chinga) in a protected area (PA) and in a cropland area (CA) in the Pampas grassland of Argentina. Sixteen skunks (PA: three males, four females; CA: three males, six females) were captured and monitored using radio-telemetry techniques for 92–395 days each. In both areas, C. chinga was largely nocturnal and the start and cessation of activity was related to sunset and sunrise, respectively. Skunks spent more time active in the PA, where the level of anthropogenic activity was lower, and this difference was due to increased activity during the daylight hours. Finally, activity was greater for females than for males, and in the warm season when compared to the cold season. In the Pampas grasslands of Argentina, activity of Molina’s hog-nosed skunks seems to be influenced by both food availability and predation risk related to human presence.