• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Spotted Skunk

spotted skunk

Spotted Skunk

NPS Photo

Spotted Skunk
Spilogale gracilis

Body length: 9 - 13 1/2"; weight 1 – 1 1/2 lbs.
Diet: Rodents, birds, eggs, insects, and carrion

Spotted skunks are no larger than squirrels, and can easily be distinguished from other skunks by their more varied pattern. Curious and playful, spotted skunks are known for their bold behavior, including pulling on the hair of people who are sleeping out-of-doors. When alarmed, they stand up on their front legs repeatedly, holding a pose for up to five seconds.

Spotted skunks are only rarely seen at Tonto National Monument. They may make only brief visits to the Monument while wandering through to other areas, or they may live here in very small numbers. Like other skunk species, they are habitat generalists, but are almost strictly nocturnal.

Did You Know?

crested saguaro

Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.