At home with the crepuscular critters

Anecdotal evidence suggestsCranbrook skunk numbers are up.

  • Feb. 19, 2016 8:00 a.m.
Skunk numbers are up in town

Skunk numbers are up in town

Barry Coulter

Move over, deer. A certain crepuscular critter is making its case for status as top Cranbrook urban wildlife.

The skunk population appears to be on the rise. And while there are no specific skunk counts or ways to determine numbers and population trends, Chris Zettel, City Communications Officer, says anecdotal evidence suggests numbers are up. One Cranbrook resident, for example, has reported trapping dozens of the black-and-whites over recent months.

There are number of reasons for our increasing skunkification — habitat, climate, diet, and just that Cranbrook seems to be a good place for skunks to live and prosper.

“They’re finding lots of places to den up and enough to eat, and they just breeding, and we’re getting more and more of them,” Zettel said.

There are a few things you can do to skunk-proof your property, like securing those areas that skunks are drawn to.

“If you have old sheds in your yard, slightly raised decks or stacked wood — those sorts of things — those seem to be the places they like to go.

“And they eat mice, so if you got a spot where you have some rodent issues, that could be a draw.”

And the City is looking to add skunk education to their urban wildlife menu as well.

“For the past two seasons we’ve partnered with the City of Kimberley and Wildsafe BC to do some wildlife education. Specifically it’s been deer in Cranbrook and deer and bears in Kimberley, but what we’d like to see going forward in 2016 is some skunk education as well.

“The  things people can do to mitigate having skunks in your yard and things you can do to make them uncomfortable so they move on.”