Little information on foraging habitats of sympatric species of skunks in Texas, USA, is available. We compared 11 western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis) and 10 striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) using radiotelemetry data to assess habitat use during foraging at broad levels of selection in a fragmented habitat. Western spotted skunks used areas with more large mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) trees than did striped skunks and randomly selected points. Striped skunk habitat use was not different from randomly chosen locations. Contrary to previous research, both species appear to avoid agricultural habitat. A habitat management plan may be difficult to implement for striped skunks in Texas because they did not favor any available habitat. Conservation of western spotted skunks in west-central Texas should focus on areas with older mesquite trees, areas that are now often brush controlled for management of livestock.
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Vol. 71 • No. 2