An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Mystery Question

2-15-17-striped-skunk-img_1837

Without googling or looking up the answer, what animal do you think might be the Striped Skunk’s primary predator? Submit answers under “Comments” on the Naturally Curious blog.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com  and click on the yellow “donate” button.

 

Advertisements

170 responses

  1. Great Horned Owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:13 am

  2. mary

    dogs

    February 16, 2017 at 8:13 am

  3. Cars! 😉

    February 16, 2017 at 8:13 am

  4. Jim Lafley

    Great-horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:14 am

  5. Anne Marie

    Owl!

    February 16, 2017 at 8:14 am

  6. Carol Yarnell

    Great horned owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:14 am

  7. KAF

    Fisher and coyote

    February 16, 2017 at 8:14 am

  8. Michael

    fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 8:15 am

  9. Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 8:15 am

  10. Noreen

    Great Horned Owl.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:15 am

  11. mariagianferrari

    Great horned owl 🙂 (and an occasional coyote)

    February 16, 2017 at 8:15 am

  12. Chrystal J Cleary

    I think GHO ?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

  13. aprazar

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

  14. Sandie Sabaka

    Good answers. I am going w fisher as well.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

  15. Jennifer Peterson

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

  16. Kathie Fiveash

    I think great horned owl.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

  17. Jon Pringle

    Fox

    February 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

  18. susan hunter

    Great Horned Owls are skunk’s major predator

    February 16, 2017 at 8:18 am

  19. carol stanley

    fisher cat

    February 16, 2017 at 8:18 am

  20. susan thomas

    great horned owl since they have a poor or no sense of smell.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

  21. Kerry Ryer-Parke

    Fishers?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

  22. Nelson

    I learned this but can’t quiet remember. Thanks for the very good question! I will go with Coyote. Whatever it is, I think the strategy is to stay face to face, and turn it to get to the skunk’s belly for a quick kill.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

  23. Chris

    I think it’s either fisher or owl. Tough call. Going with owl.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

  24. fox?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

  25. Marilyn

    Is the American Eagle the primary predator for the striped Skunk?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

  26. Midge

    Porcupine
    Good to rule out Google/research 👍

    February 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

  27. Mimi

    Great horned owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:22 am

  28. fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 8:22 am

  29. Diane

    voles

    February 16, 2017 at 8:22 am

  30. Judith Pettingell

    Fisher cat…. just guessing

    February 16, 2017 at 8:23 am

  31. Dianne Rochford

    the barred owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:23 am

  32. Nancy newman

    Great horned owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:24 am

  33. phil

    My guess would be the fisher cat ~~ just a guess.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:24 am

  34. Cecilia

    Great horned owl, hawk (red tailed?)

    February 16, 2017 at 8:24 am

  35. Ellen Halperin

    Fisher?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

  36. Amy Stringer

    Coyote.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

  37. Fisher?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

  38. Audrey Hyson

    Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

  39. brigid

    cars, or house cats.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

  40. Oliver

    Great horned owl!

    February 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

  41. Sue Wetmore

    Great horned owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

  42. Margaret Fowle

    Great-horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

  43. Laura

    My guess: fishers

    February 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

  44. Alice Pratt

    Coyote. 🤔

    February 16, 2017 at 8:28 am

  45. gerry fields

    fisher cats

    February 16, 2017 at 8:28 am

  46. Barbara Rehmeyer

    owls?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:28 am

  47. Coyote 🙂

    February 16, 2017 at 8:29 am

  48. On our island, sadly, i think it’s cars/humans thus….

    February 16, 2017 at 8:30 am

    • oh and i think that dogs are second, as our dog is absolutely relentless when it comes to skunks near our house

      February 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

  49. Lauren

    Ooh, I know this one! 🙂
    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:30 am

  50. Elaine Schmottlach

    owls

    February 16, 2017 at 8:32 am

  51. David Alexander

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:36 am

  52. Amy Harris

    Perhaps an owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:41 am

  53. Carole

    Humans.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

  54. Bill Turley

    Definitely Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:46 am

  55. Elizabeth Hawes

    owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:46 am

  56. Jeremy

    GHO

    February 16, 2017 at 8:47 am

  57. foxisland1

    fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 8:49 am

  58. Bridgit Litchfield

    Great Horned Owl. I’ve found the remains of skunk in my yard left by the pair of GH Owls that regularly hunt here.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:49 am

  59. Jim Moul

    Barred owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 8:51 am

  60. Great Horned Owl: Their poor sense of smell means they’re not deterred by the skunks scent.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:53 am

  61. Andrew Hutchinson

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:54 am

  62. Suzanne Whiting

    The fisher cat

    February 16, 2017 at 8:55 am

  63. An owl!

    February 16, 2017 at 8:58 am

  64. Owls can’t smell, so…. and owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

  65. MICHAEL HUSSIN

    Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

  66. Rosemary Putnam

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    February 16, 2017 at 9:05 am

  67. Anne Sleeman

    I believe it is a fisher …😊

    February 16, 2017 at 9:05 am

  68. Betsy Smith

    I know that Great Horned Owls will go after skunks, and often bring them back to their nests so that the smell is one way to locate a GHOW nest!

    February 16, 2017 at 9:05 am

  69. My gut thought was GHO

    February 16, 2017 at 9:15 am

  70. Richard Tingblad

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 9:15 am

  71. Kathy Schillemat

    I think I am also in the owl camp.

    February 16, 2017 at 9:17 am

  72. Ellen

    I first thought Fischers or dogs but then I settled on humans

    February 16, 2017 at 9:18 am

  73. michael

    great horned owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

  74. Bonnie Ingram

    The Great Horned Owl I believe is their primary predator.

    February 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

  75. Lisa

    Fisher?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

  76. owls?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

  77. John Liccardi

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

  78. Mary Jacobsen

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

  79. The coyotes at my place always reek of skunk, but I think the owl is the primary predator. Can’t wait to read the answer!

    February 16, 2017 at 9:27 am

  80. Tanja

    Great horned owl…

    February 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

  81. Dace Weiss

    a fisher?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

  82. Bill On The Hill...

    Fisher cat…
    BF

    February 16, 2017 at 9:33 am

  83. fludwig12

    I once found a great horned owl pellet with skunk fur in it!

    February 16, 2017 at 9:33 am

  84. SOConnor

    Coyotes?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:34 am

  85. Peter

    Around here most are killed by cars driving too fast at night. In the woods it’s fishers and great horned owls.

    February 16, 2017 at 9:34 am

  86. David Thomas-Train

    It has to be tough to brave a faceful of stink! No idea, but guessing fisher or coyote.

    February 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

  87. shielaswett

    humans

    February 16, 2017 at 9:40 am

  88. Nancy Moyer

    My vote goes to the fisher, also.

    February 16, 2017 at 9:42 am

  89. Terry Kuhlmann

    Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

  90. automobiles/humans?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

  91. Great horned owl. Possibly other large owls.

    February 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

  92. Stephanie

    Fisher?…. Or cars/humans

    February 16, 2017 at 9:51 am

  93. Paula Haubrich

    owls and hawks?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:52 am

  94. I’m going to guess Great Horned Owl; both are nocturnal, and the GHO has the weaponry and size to do the job without getting sprayed. Cool quiz, whether I’m right or not!

    February 16, 2017 at 9:52 am

  95. Elizabeth

    Owls. Fishers are the primary predator of… porcupines , I think ?

    February 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

  96. Joel Snider

    I think owls are the primary predator( tho I can’t give you a specific species). They can swoop on skunks silently . Info based on talk by Barbara Bates from Audubon’s Habitat Sanctuary
    in Belmont , MA.

    February 16, 2017 at 10:04 am

  97. The fisher cat is my guess.

    February 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

  98. Owls?

    February 16, 2017 at 10:07 am

  99. Robin

    Great Horned Owl would be my guess.

    February 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

  100. Tami

    Great horned owls! Who also take more cats as prey than most people realize.

    February 16, 2017 at 10:21 am

  101. Victoria Weber

    Owl. Maybe great horned.

    February 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

  102. Dean & Susan

    Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

  103. LUANNE JOHNSON, PhD

    In North American striped skunk populations, diseases (rabies, distemper and parasites) cause 30 – 40% of annual mortality while humans (vehicular trauma and nuisance animal control) cause ~ 50% mortality (multiple studies of radio collared skunks; including my dissertation work). That leaves a small portion of annual mortality to attribute to predation. So, while skunks do have predators, predation is not a common cause of mortality for striped skunks because of their pungent defensive spray that can temporarily blind predators and make them smell for weeks. Great horned owls do depredate skunks, but they are not commonly listed in most GHOW diet studies – probably because that owl species prefers rabbits. Where cougars (Puma, mountain lion) are present, they can be effective predators (Mark Elbroch, pers. communication), but will generally go after larger prey species. As generalist mesocarnivores, skunks and raccoons become abundant in suburban and some urban areas, and people often think their populations soar due to a lack of predators. What is more likely is that their populations soar due to a plethora of human food and shelter subsidies (lawn grubs, bird feeder seed on ground, food scraps in parks, accessible trash).

    February 16, 2017 at 10:31 am

  104. Rita Pitkin

    Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 10:35 am

  105. Kathryn

    fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 10:37 am

  106. Alyssa Buteux

    Great horned owl. Silent and deadly.

    February 16, 2017 at 10:38 am

  107. Pam Burnside

    Fox or Coyote

    February 16, 2017 at 10:41 am

  108. Irene

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

  109. Elizabeth Hall

    Great Horned Owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 10:48 am

  110. Doug Sherry

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

  111. Owls. I have seen a great horned own with a skunk in it’s tallons. I have head that owls like many birds have a poor sense of smell.

    February 16, 2017 at 11:03 am

  112. Doug Hart

    Fisher Cat?

    February 16, 2017 at 11:06 am

  113. Paul Glazebrook

    Domestic Dog

    February 16, 2017 at 11:07 am

  114. Fisher?

    February 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

  115. Guy Stoye

    My guess would be the fisher, able to flip the skunk on his back and avoid the spray while tearing into his belly

    February 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

  116. Great-horned owl

    February 16, 2017 at 11:24 am

  117. Cathy Craven

    Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 11:33 am

  118. Debbie

    I would think the Fisher, if not the Fisher, maybe the Owl when the skunks are babies

    February 16, 2017 at 11:43 am

  119. Tom

    Great horned Owl.

    February 16, 2017 at 11:48 am

  120. owls?

    February 16, 2017 at 11:50 am

  121. Dee Denehy

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 11:50 am

  122. Otto Wurzburg

    Great horned owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 11:54 am

  123. Sara Root-Simone

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

  124. Harte Crow

    The fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 12:07 pm

  125. Antoinette Jacobson

    Owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm

  126. Helen Pettengill

    Hi Mary. I’ve been through several skunk attacks with my dog . It’s a dreadful experience for all involved, they say a dogs intelligence can be measured by how many times it goes after a skunk….

    February 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

  127. Great Horned Owls!

    February 16, 2017 at 12:21 pm

  128. Gail C

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

  129. humans (trappers)

    February 16, 2017 at 12:42 pm

  130. Betty

    Dogs

    February 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

  131. Schuyler Gould

    Fisher cat.

    February 16, 2017 at 1:06 pm

  132. Nora Paley

    Mosquito?

    February 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

  133. dp

    fisher cat?

    February 16, 2017 at 1:15 pm

  134. CK

    Fox

    February 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm

  135. Jennifer Farquhar

    I think it’s the Great Horned Owl – no sense of smell!

    February 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

  136. Judy and Chris Ross

    Owl!

    February 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

  137. Nancy Zuba

    Trappers’ and domestic dogs

    February 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

  138. Evergreen Erb

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

  139. Jennifer

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    • Lynda and Steve

      My husband and I think that an owl could do the job.

      February 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm

  140. Peter Kallin

    If by predator you mean killing and eating, I think it is a team effort between the cars killing the skunks at night and the turkey vultures and ravens eating skunk pancakes over the next few days. If you are talking a single animal predator, Great Horned owls get their share.

    February 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm

  141. Denise Hylton

    Great horned owls ate all my skunks five years ago. Miss them! One left and he’s a reversed striped one

    February 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

  142. Mary Quinn

    Humans

    February 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm

  143. Gardening-Guy's Blog

    Fisher cat?

    February 16, 2017 at 4:05 pm

  144. Linda

    Owls?

    February 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm

  145. sue gerry

    I believe it is the owl.

    February 16, 2017 at 4:42 pm

  146. Hillary

    coyote or owl

    February 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm

  147. Michele

    Fisher

    February 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

  148. Ray Mainer

    Everybody knows the striped skunks primary predator is the automobile.

    February 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

  149. Molly Hale

    great horned owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 6:12 pm

  150. JoAnne

    Human beings?

    February 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm

  151. Daniel Dubie

    Would it be the Great Horned Owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm

  152. Wendy Ernst

    GHO

    February 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

  153. Jean Harrison

    Great Horned Owl

    February 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm

  154. Susan Elliott

    Great Horned Owl.

    February 16, 2017 at 8:51 pm

  155. Noel Kesselheim

    Great horned owl?

    February 16, 2017 at 9:00 pm

  156. Edie Posselt

    Great horned owl

    February 16, 2017 at 10:00 pm

  157. Humans driving cars. A very, very, very distant second are great horned owls.

    February 17, 2017 at 5:03 am

  158. Gary Ann Lewis

    owls

    February 17, 2017 at 7:44 am

  159. Great Horned Owl!

    February 17, 2017 at 7:46 am

  160. Pat goyne

    Porcupine

    February 17, 2017 at 9:05 am

  161. BJ Taffe

    Great Horned Owl

    February 17, 2017 at 11:01 am

  162. fisher

    February 17, 2017 at 1:38 pm

  163. Laura

    Great Horned Owl

    February 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

  164. Michele Girard

    Fisher

    February 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

  165. J. Griffin

    Fisher.

    February 18, 2017 at 7:33 am

  166. Susan

    fisher or owl

    February 18, 2017 at 8:03 am

  167. Humans?

    February 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm

  168. Dorie Stolley

    Great horned owl!

    February 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s