Do Skunks Burrow Underground?

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For those who have had the opportunity to examine a skunk, one of the animal's distinctive features are the strong sharp claws that they have, with those on the front paws being the ones that the skunks will use when they are digging. Skunks are creatures that will naturally look for a particular series of features when they choose the location for their den, but while they can dig their own burrows, they are adaptable enough to use other locations as dens as well. While skunks may not be prolific diggers in the same way that moles and woodchucks are, they will certainly be happy to put in the effort when digging their den. Read more about Why do skunks dig?

What Are The Key Features In The Location Of A Skunk's Den?

One of the most important things for a skunk is that their den will need to be within fairly close proximity to a water source, as their range will only be a maximum of a mile and a half from their den, and the water source is essential for the skunk's survival. Along with this, they will look for areas that have good food sources available, and this can include urban areas with good scavenging, or more rural areas with their traditional food sources.

How Skunks Dig Their Burrows

The physical features of skunks make them quite skilled at digging, and they tend to have shorter front legs with large paws that make them well designed for moving a relatively large amount of earth quickly. It is common that skunks will dig a den with several individual chambers, and in some cases you will find several skunks living in one den.

Making Their Nest More Comfortable

One of the distinctive features of a skunk den is that once they have dug the chambers, they will then bring in a variety of different nesting materials to make it more comfortable. They can use a range of natural materials for this purpose, and it is common to see grass, leaves and hay used to line the den to make it more comfortable for the skunk.

Alternative Dens For A Skunk

While they may dig their own burrows, skunks are also opportunistic in many ways, and if they find a den dug by another animal such as a fox or a woodchuck, then they will often take that den instead. When a skunk has moved into an urban area, they will often find areas such as cellars, cavities beneath sheds and porches and spaces under decking in which they can create a nest. Read more about when skunks shed their fur.

Go back to the Skunk Removal page, or learn tips by reading How to get rid of skunks.

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