Skunks are wild animals that are native to North and South America. You easily recognize them from the stink spray that they release as a defense mechanism. There are several skunk species, and they all have varying appearances. Skunks are omnivorous and feed on both plants and animals. They eat lizards, rodents, salamanders, snakes, birds, larvae, eggs, and their diet changes based on seasons and food availability.

Skunks easily adapt to unfavorable climate conditions and can scavenge for food in times of drought. During these periods, they feed on carcasses of birds and rodents usually left by other animals.

They are widely distributed in urban and rural habitats and have adapted to their environment so well that they survive in both rural and urban areas. In North America, they occupy most areas from central Canada down to northern Mexico.

Skunk Homes
Skunks naturally live in burrows beneath the earth where they can sleep in solitude during the day and hunt at night. They possess strong forelimbs and claws that aid them to dig below ground level and make significantly large burrows. In times of extreme cold, skunks form dens with a labyrinth of burrows and live communally to maintain heat and avoid predation. These dens may have more than one chamber and many entrances and exits that allow the skunks to escape predators and danger.

It is very common for skunks to occupy dens of other animals, but they expand these to suit their lifestyle. A skunk will often line its burrow with fur, grass, and other soft materials for comfort.

Skunks in Urban and Rural Areas
Skunks are animals that love comfort and ease, and so they live close to water and food sources. Although in adverse conditions, they adapt easily to changes in food availability and water supply, their preferred habitat is a range of two miles from a water source. Skunks do not have natural predators like most wild animals do, so their habitat choice is quite wide, from grasses and thick bushes to tree holes. They live in both rural and urban areas and adapt quite well to both.

Their ability to adapt often brings skunks into contact with humans, especially due to their survival and foraging instincts. Skunks often forage in garbage cans and trash bags, and though they make a mess, they are just trying to survive.

There is no clear study that reveals the proportion of skunks in rural and urban areas, but it is safe to say that you can find skunks in areas that have sufficient food and water supply. In recent times, there has been a mass increase in the skunk population in urban areas.

Skunks love privacy, and as antisocial animals, they love to live in solitary underground burrows. They do not venture far from their burrows or dens due to their poor homing instincts and prefer to have food and water sources very close to them. In the wild, skunks hunt for insects, earthworms, grubs, snakes, small rodents, frogs, and other smaller animals as food. There is also a large provision of berries, mushrooms, and fruits as food for them.

In the wild, skunks dwell in woodlands, grasslands, and open prairies; they do not discriminate habitats but modify any available space to become home. In urban areas, you can easily find skunks in cavities under sheds and porches where they live or in culverts and dormant drains. These critters favor dark and quiet places around the yard and in buildings. Most times, you may not see skunks around your home but will detect them from their characteristic smell.

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