[NAFEX] Skunks good or skunks bad?

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Tue May 11 14:20:39 EDT 2004


My son Chris, who is very much into fisheries and wildlife management sent
the following contribution about skunks.

----------

Skunks are good:

They eat all sorts of insects, slugs, and yes, even dig up yellow jacket
nests
to get at the larvae. They also eat mice and voles, and dig up their nests
to
get the babies. They do eat bird eggs, snakes, frogs, etc., but so do cats
and
dogs, and the average American with a lawnmower or a car kills far more of
these animals per year than an entire family of skunks. Noone who uses
decent
gardening practices should worry about a skunk's take of earthworms.

They look cool! They do carry rabies and distemper, but dogs also carry
rabies,
and cats carry both. Raccoons also carry both, as well as a much higher
parasite load than the skunks.

If there are skunks feeding naturally (not out of the cat food dish), you
have a
pretty healthy ecosystem; it takes a lot of insect (and other small animal)
biomass to support a skunk.

Yes, skunks smell bad to keep things from harassing them - it works, doesn't
it?
The smell usually wafts away shortly. They are really pretty calm. If you
get
sprayed, then you were probably harassing the skunk. I have been sprayed six
times. Every time I was catching, chasing, or otherwise teasing the skunk.
Not
once was I minding my own business.

If your dog gets into skunks, he is either untrained or dumb. I have seen
good
dogs, and worked with good dogs. You can train them not to chase skunks.

My $.02.  

best,

chris :)




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