Dukes, C. G., M. L. Allen, L. E. Dodd, A. J. Edelman, S. N. Harris, S. H. LaRose, D. S. Jachowski, R. C. Lonsinger, and D. B. Sasse. 2022. A review of camera trapping methodologies for Eastern spotted skunks. Journal of Fish & Wildlife Management 13(1):295-305.
Spilogale putorius (Eastern Spotted Skunk) is an understudied species that has experienced range-wide declines. Over the past 16 years, camera traps have become an increasingly common tool to monitor and understand the current distribution of Eastern Spotted Skunks. To inform best surveying practices, we reviewed 16 camera trap studies specifically targeting this species. We focused on reported latency to initial detection and 3 main aspects of study design: seasonality of detections, baits and lures, and camera trap brands. Latency to initial detection ranged from 1–82 days with a mean of 17.1 days (SD = 9.1). Attractants varied among projects, but most (75%) used sardines as bait. The highest percentage of skunk detections occurred in March (92%). Studies using Moultrie brand camera traps were the most widely used, but Bushnell camera traps had a higher detection rate (mean = 24%, SD = 18.5, n = 4) than other brands included in our review. We conclude by outlining effective surveying techniques that will aid in developing more efficient methods to address key knowledge gaps for this elusive species.