In Search of Spotted Skunks

Nearly everyone is familiar with the striped skunk, a common Kansas furbearer known for its striking black body and white stripe down its back and, of course, the odor. However, there is a much rarer species of skunk living in Kansas that most people are not familiar with: the Eastern spotted skunk. And biologists with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) would like help learning more about this unique skunk.

Eastern spotted skunks have a black body with multiple broken white lines and a white triangle on their forehead. They are smaller than striped skunks, but still have the ability to spray repugnant-smelling musk as a defense. In the 1930s, spotted skunks were the third most common furbearer pelt sold in Kansas. Today, they are classified as threatened in Kansas and are rare.

To better understand the range and occurrence of spotted skunks in Kansas, KDWPT requests reports of any spotted skunk sightings, including road kills, trail camera photos or those inadvertently trapped. Reports, preferably with photos, can be emailed to

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