Spring Striped Skunks:
In the Spring striped skunks may dig their own dens. They will also take over dens abandoned by other animals if the opportunity exists. These dens are normally used only in late fall, winter, and early spring. Although, females with unweaned kits will use them through the summer. In winter it is common for one den to be occupied by multiple females and a single male. During this period, the striped skunk saves its energy and will lower its body temperature from 38 °C to 32 °C. Although they may forage for short periods in winter, most must depend on fat reserves in cold weather, some can lose as much as 50% of their body weight.
The striped skunk is polygamous, and normally breeds once a year. Some yearling females who failed to mate the first time may enter a second cycle a month later. The mating season usually occurs between mid-February to mid-April. Males are fully ready to mate by March. Its during this period that they will cover a lot of ground in their search for females, sometimes up to 2 miles per night.
One male skunk may have a group of several females, he will mate with them and defend them against other males for a period up to 35 days. Once the mating period has finished, the impregnated females confine themselves to their dens, while the males attempt to rebuild their fat reserves.
The gestation period lasts around 59–77 days, with kits being born around mid-May to early June. Litters generally consist of 2–12 kits. Kits are born blind and sparsely furred, weighing only 1-2 ounces. Their eyes open after around three weeks, and they will be weaned after 42–56 days. Although their musk is not yet developed, kits of this age will instinctively assume the defensive stand position when threatened. The kits may accompany their mother outside the den around 6 weeks old, becoming independent after 2½ months.
If your encountering problems with skunks invading your property this time of year, call the experts at Sullivans Nuisance Animal Control. We will solve all your wildlife removal needs. Call today 248-800-4126