Skunks on Maui: What’s the Stink?

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) trapped a live skunk in the Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary in August. That’s a big deal for a couple of reasons. First, unlike mongoose and feral cats (the intended targets of the DLNR traps), skunks…...
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The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) trapped a live skunk in the Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary in August. That’s a big deal for a couple of reasons.

Photo by Ryan Hodnett

First, unlike mongoose and feral cats (the intended targets of the DLNR traps), skunks are not recognized as an established invasive species. Still, clearly some sneak through on cargo ships and the like.

Second, and more essentially, Hawai‘i touts itself as the nation’s only rabies-free state, and skunks are a common vector of the virus. They also prey on eggs and small animals, bad news for endangered native birds.

If you spot or catch a skunk or other invasive critter, call the state’s pest hotline: 643-PEST (7378).  

Jacob Shafer

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