The American hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus) is an understudied mesocarnivore for which no extensive ecological studies have been conducted. We radio-collared 29 skunks (15 male, 14 female) at a site in west-central Texas, U.S.A. and used data from 14 (5 male, 9 female) to determine patterns of home range and spatial organization. Home range (95% fixed kernel) of males averaged three times that of females (1.9 km2 vs. 0.64 km2) and extensive intrasexual and intersexual overlap in home ranges was documented. Female home ranges and core areas differed significantly in their topography (changes with which were associated with habitat difference) from those of males. Home range sizes were correlated with body size and gender, but intersexual differences between home range sizes and their topography indicate space-use patterns between male and female American hog-nosed skunks are influenced by factors beyond metabolic requirements alone. Specifically, we believe male home ranges are large to maximize encounters with females whereas females selectively choose areas to ensure availability of resources such as foraging and den sites.
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