Do skunks burrow underground?
Yes, skunks will dig holes on the ground mainly to live in. their burrows are distinct from others’ although there are a time when skunks will take up burrows that were once used by other animals like the marmots. They use these underground dens to rest in during the day, for hiding from predators, they use as their breeding sites and also they nurture their young ones in them till maturity. These burrows can either be used permanently or as an alternative but depending on the time of the year or just the accessibility of these burrows. Whichever the cause, these burrows are usually protected in such a way that they have multiple chambers and entry points all leading to the centrally placed nest. This is to provide plentiful room space and for alternative escape route in case they are attacked by an enemy or predator.
Apart from underground dens, skunks will also live in other places like under rock piles, under wood pies, in abandoned buildings, under human residential buildings, in hollow trees, within the drain pipes, porches or even concrete slabs.
Skunks do not only burrow underground to create a place to live in, but they also use burrowing as one way of finding food. In this case, the burrows are not bigger than the size of their nose, as they use the nose to aid in the digging by pressing it to the soil and using its front long claws to dig up. These burrows are usually shallow as compared to the nesting ones as they do not have to go deep to find a lump of protein-rich ants. They will sometimes dog multiple small burrows in such a way that they merge to create a bigger hole. Here, they can sure to find food such as earthworms, grubs and other various soil insects to feast on.
Skunks will use these underground burrows to not necessarily hibernate, but to sleep in when the temperatures are very low or when it is heavily snowing. The entrances are closed up using leaves or grass to minimize entry of cold. They will lower their body temperatures and consume as little energy as possible but will come out if the snow reduces to look for food. Thus, they are not true hibernators.
There are instances when skunks will use communal burrows. This is common in females who have just given birth or a group of young females that are not yet sexually mature. At this point, there will be only one adult male or no male at all as males usually leave after the breeding season and may return when the young one are all grown and out of the nursing stage and ready to start learning how to hunt.
Read the How to get rid of skunks page for helpful information and to learn more about Do skunks burrow underground?
Do skunks burrow underground?
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