spotted skunk, trapping, Arkansas


The Plains spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius interrupta) is a small carnivore that has experienced population declines across much of its range and is currently being considered for listing as an endangered species. I utilized harvest data on pelts from the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas and the Ouachita mountains in Arkansas that were purchased by fur dealers from 1943-1990 to examine trends in harvest levels over time. Purchases in all three regions declined in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but purchases in the Arkansas returned to near or at historic levels in the early 1960s and the late 1970s. Lacking any other data upon which to assess spotted skunk population trends, this suggests that populations in the Ozark and Ouachita mountains did not decline from the 1940s through the 1970s as they did elsewhere and that this species may have always been rare in the region.