Magioli, M., Rios, E., García-Olaechea, A., Bonjorne, L., Alberici, V., Benchimol, M., Cazetta, E., & Morato, R. G. (2020). Flexible habitat use and range extension by the striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) in Brazil. Mammalian Biology, 100(5), 553–557.
We present evidence of plasticity in habitat use and range extension of the striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus) in Brazil. We first compiled literature records of C. semistriatus across its known distribution (N = 390), added new records from primary data (N = 10), and compared the main landscape composition (forest, savannah, grassland, agriculture) among these occurrence sites (N = 400). We unveil that landscape composition among occurrence sites varied widely within and among biomes in Brazil (Caatinga, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest), indicating C. semistriatus presence from dense forested habitats to grasslands and anthropogenic areas (especially agricultural landscapes). Almost 30% of the occurrence records of C. semistriatus are outside of the species known distribution, including records in ecotones between Cerrado-Amazonia biomes, extending its occurrence area in 449,118 km2. We conclude that habitat modification is a driver for the occurrence of C. semistriatus in dense forested habitats, facilitating its distribution expansion to previously unexpected areas.