Predicted distribution of plains spotted skunk in Arkansas and Missouri

  • Authors: LaRose, Summer H.; MacPherson, Maggie P.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Mundy Hackett, H.; Perry, Roger W.; Blake Sasse, D.; Gompper, Matthew E.
  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Journal of Wildlife Management. 86(2): e22165.
  • DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.22165

Abstract

The plains spotted skunk (Spilogale interrupta) is of conservation concern because of widespread population declines and is being considered for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. Although the taxon is relatively rare and difficult to study, recent research and reports provided some information about spotted skunks in Arkansas and Missouri, USA. Using this information, we employed full and simplified multivariate species distribution models to evaluate cover type associations and identify regions of high predicted presence for plains spotted skunks. The simple model contained percent forest and percent development within 5 km, land cover category, and distance to water. Percent forest within 5 km was the most important variable based on permutation importance in both models, indicating that plains spotted skunk habitat may persist in contiguous forest at the landscape scale. Regions predicted to have high presence occurred in northern, western, and southern Arkansas and southern Missouri, totaling >300,000 ha. The resulting plains spotted skunk distribution map can be used for research and management efforts in areas of high probability of occurrence, and future statewide survey efforts may validate our results.

  • Citation: LaRose, Summer H.; MacPherson, Maggie P.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Mundy Hackett, H.; Perry, Roger W.; Blake Sasse, D.; Gompper, Matthew E. 2022. Predicted distribution of plains spotted skunk in Arkansas and Missouri. Journal of Wildlife Management. 86(2): e22165. https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.22165.
  • Keywords: Distribution, MaxEnt, mesocarnivore, plains spotted skunk, predicted presence, species distribution model, Spilogale interrupta.
  • Posted Date: March 15, 2022
  • Modified Date: April 25, 2022
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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