The Striped Skunk is a member of the Weasel Family and is familiar to most of us. It is about the size of a house cat but has a stout body and is often recognized at first by its distinctive, strong odour, its bushy tail, and by its 2 bold white stripes running along its black body. The amount and width of striping is very variable, however, and some individuals can appear mostly black (Hatler et al. 2008).
In British Columbia, the Striped Skunk is most common in the southern half of the province; it does not occur on coastal islands (Hatler et al. 2008). Research has shown that 75% of BC's Striped Skunks are found the lower Fraser Valley, 13% in the Thompson-Okanagan, and 6% in the Kootenays (Hatler et al. 2008).
Although not verified by genetic work, two subspecies of Striped Skunk are recognized in British Columbia: 1) Memphitis memphitis hudsonica (mainland regions east of the coast mountains) and 2) Memphitis memphitis spissigrada (lower Fraser Valley) (Hatler et al. 2008).