The taxonomic status of white-backed hog-nosed skunks (genus Conepatus, subgenus Oryctogale) was examined using external and cranial morphology as well as mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid sequence. Two species, Conepatus leuconotus and C. mesoleucus, and their subspecies were determined to represent only a single species, C. leuconotus. Within this species there are 3 management units, or subspecies, recognized conservatively. These subspecies are C. l. leuconotus (including C. l. texensis, C. m. mearnsi, C. m. mesoleucus, C. m. nelsoni, C. m. venaticus, C. m. nicaraguae, C. m. sonoriensis, and C. m. filipensis); C. l. figginsi (=C. m. figginsi and including C. m. fremonti); and C. l. telmalestes (=C. m. telmalestes). In the case of C. l. figginsi and C. l. telmalestes, further genetic research may indicate that these taxa are not valid, but the populations that they represent (if not extinct) will require different management strategies from the wide-ranging C. l. leuconotus.
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