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Title:Federal Aid Project No. W-49-R(26), Study I: Population Trends and Characteristics, Job No. 10: Opossum and striped skunk investigations
Author(s):Hubert, George F., Jr.
Didelphis marsupialis
striped skunk
Mephitis mephitis
population trends
population index
Abstract:A total of 64 unskinned opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) was examined at fur houses in Illinois during the 1978-79 season. Males comprised 62.8 percent of all hunter-killed animals compared to 64.7 percent of those caught by trappers. Hunters harvested 67.2 percent of all opossums sold while trappers and roadkills accounted for 26.6 and 6.2 percent respectively. Males made up 66.7 percent of a selected sample of road-killed opossums examined from May through November 1978. Monthly records of opossum and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) road-kills were maintained for 532,697 mi driven by project personnel in 1978. A population index value based on the number of road-kills observed per 1,000 mi sampled was calculated on a monthly and/or seasonal basis for these two species. The fall (September -November) index for opossums decreased by 29 percent from 1976 to 1977 and by 53 percent from 1977 to 1978. The breeding period (February -March) road-kill index for striped skunks declined 7 percent between 1977 and 1978 while the growth-fattening/post-reproductive period (September -November) index remained stable from 1976 to 1977 and increased 43 percent between 1977 and 1978. Road-kill index data indicate the statewide opossum population probably decreased from 1977 to 1978 while the skunk population increased.
Issue Date:1979-04-19
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey
Genre:Technical Report
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Rights Information:This document is a product of the Illinois Natural History Survey, and has been selected and made available by the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-20

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