Search This Blog

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The elusive Western Spotted Skunk on the Gualala Ridge - a photo by John Bower

In the six years of writing Mendonoma Sightings in the Independent Coast Observer, I've only received one photo of a Western Spotted Skunk, Spilogale gracilis, and it was taken through a window. Until now, that is! John Bower found this little Skunk in a trash bin on the Gualala Ridge. After its close-up, John tipped the bin over so it could get out.

 A few old-timers erroneously call this Skunk a Civet Cat. It does move like a cat and is about the size of a house cat but it is indeed a Skunk. If it starts stomping its front paws, back away - fast! It can spray just as well as its bigger brother, the Striped Skunk.

In the winter they eat rodents, adding vegetation and insects to their diet in the summer. Fruit and berries in the autumn are also eaten by this Skunk. Thanks to John Bower for allowing me to share his photo with you here!


Maureen said...

Wow, it is so beautiful. I hadn't realized we had such a special species in our neck of the woods.

Jeanne Jackson said...

I have never seen one either. I love its facial markings! They are found throughout the west.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeanne,
I've seen these little critters up here on the Ridge and on the Coast. I actully picked one up! He/She was in the dog food bin. As I lifted the scoop...there he was sitting on top of the scoop. It's amazing how fast you can drop something and then RUN.
Rebecca O'Neil

Jeanne Jackson said...

That's one smart little skunk, Rebecca! Free lodging AND food! I'm glad you can run so fast.

fgdrouillard said...

I never knew of such a critter. But I do now!