The Eastern Spotted Skunk Project

SkunkProjSettingUpOrig

Photo: by the trail camera
Emily and Adrie caught on camera setting up the bait station.

The Eastern Spotted Skunk Project

The Eastern Spotted Skunk Survey Project is back for one more winter! Started and coordinated by Va Tech graduate student Emily Thorne, Virginia Master Naturalists have been adopting sites to set up baited trail cameras for this project since December 2016.

Adrie Voors, Cohort II, and Lisa Klein, Cohort VI, have cameras up in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in Rockingham and Highland Counties, respectively. The cameras are checked weekly to change out the memory cards, check batteries and restock the bait. This year the cameras will be up for the months of February and March. The “spotties” are more motivated to eat bait in the colder months when their preferred insect diet is less available to them.

Adrie had cameras up in wooded areas around Harrisonburg in the winter of 2018 and some in surrounding areas in 2019. Despite finding lots of interesting wildlife, no spotted skunks were “caught” on these cameras. All data is useful to Emily and she says she still gets excited each time she checks out a fresh memory card to see what’s on it. Find out more about the project.

By Adrie Voors

SkunkProjRacoonOrig

Photo: by the trail camera
Raccoons commonly succeed in prying out the bait.