Common Mammal Species of Northwestern Ontario





Mephitis mephitis
Striped Skunk


Distinguishing Features - Overall colouration, black with narrow white stripe between eyes and two wide white stripes running along back, from neck to base of tail. Upperside and tip of bushy, long tail, usually whitish; sometimes whitish spotting on chest. Legs, short; feet clawed.

Skunk Size -
Male - 52.3 - 68.1 cm (20.6 - 26.8 in)
Female - 51.4 - 65.1 cm (20.2 - 25.6 in)


Widespread throughout Northwestern Ontario; prefers mixed woodlands, pastures and fields, often close to water; does well near suburbs.


The skunk is an omnivore and will eat whatever is available at any given time. It will eat rodents, the young of small mammals, frogs, ground-nesting birds and their eggs; grubs and insects; vegetative matter, nuts and berries; carrion and untended garbage.


The scent of the skunk is unmistakeable; it is a defense mechanisim that makes it less vulnerable to predation than other mammals of the same size.

A female will produce a litter of 1 to 10 offspring each year.

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