American Hog-nosed Skunk

Black and white snake moving through grass
Identified by their white back and full tail, hog-nosed skunks are a rarely-seen new arrival in the Grand Canyon.

NPS Brandon Holton

 
Scientific Name
Conepatus leuconotus

Identification
  • One of the largest skunks in the work, it can grow up to 2.7 feet (82.5cm) in length.
  • The hog-nosed skunk is identified by a large, broad white stripe running from the head to the all-white tail.
  • The nose is relatively long and bare of fur.
Habitat
  • Traditionally, hog-nosed skunks are found from Central America to southern Colorado.
  • In 2012, 2 hog-nosed skunks were seen along the Colorado River inside the park- the first sighting of them in Northern Arizona. Since then, several more have been seen within the park, marking a major change in their habitat.
  • Inside the park, hog-nosed skunks have only been seen in the rocky canyon land near the Colorado River.
Behavior
  • Hog-nosed skunks primarily feed on insects. They have a powerful sense of smell, and their strong forelimbs and large claws help them dig up buried insects. This feeding strategy has earned them the nickname "rooter skunk".
  • They will also feed on carrion, small reptiles, berries, and prickly pear cactus.
  • Hog-nosed skunks are nocturnal. They dig burrows that they use for shelter during the day and as a home for their young.
  • Females give birth to 1-5 young in April or May. Young are independent by August.
 
More Information

Last updated: May 17, 2016

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Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

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