Learn about skunks at PEEC

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Pajarito Environmental Education Center welcomes national skunk expert Jerry Dragoo, who talk at the Nature Center from 2-3 p.m. Nov. 11.
This adult and family talk is free to PEEC members and is $5 per person or $10 per family for non-members. Dragoo will talk about his years of skunk research and give a behind-the-scenes look at the PBS Nature episode, “Is That Skunk,” on which he was featured.
The skunk is one of the most recognized mammals in North America and, due to its use of scent glands as a defense mechanism, it also is one of the most maligned.
However, “the skunk” refers to more than the well-known striped skunk.
The Mephitidae (skunk family) is composed of 12 species, which occur primarily in the western hemisphere (four of these species are in New Mexico).
Skunks are a diverse group of carnivores living in a variety of habitats with different ecological requirements and a wide variety of behavioral and reproductive idiosyncrasies.
Skunks also can provide economic benefits, but occasionally, individual animals are perceived as nuisance animals.
Dragoo, with his wife Gwen, who is the head veterinary technician at the Albuquerque Biological Park, assists the Albuquerque and surrounding communities in association with Wildlife Rescue, Inc. of New Mexico in dealing with injured, orphaned and “problem” skunks.
Dragoo has published several scientific articles regarding skunks and recently published a chapter on skunks in the “Carnivores” book for the series “Handbook of the Mammals of the World” and has a chapter in the book, “Urban Carnivores: Ecology, Conflict and Conservation.”
He also is co-writing a book concerning the skunks of Texas.
Dragoo has been featured nationally on NPR, ABC’s webpage (a poll was taken to determine if he was Mad or Rad), People Weekly, Outside Magazine, Discover Magazine, Current Science (a science journal for children) and Smithsonian Magazine. He and Nigel Marvin (Discovery Channel) filmed skunks spraying for a BBC/Discovery Documentary on the human sense of smell.
Jeff Corwin also filmed his skunks for an episode of “Corwin’s Quest: The elephant’s trunk (smell).” Most recently, Dragoo was featured in an episode of PBS Nature called “Is that skunk?”
This promises to be an engrossing talk for all ages. For a link to view the entire PBS Nature episode, or more information on the talk, visit PajaritoEEC.org.
You may also call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org with questions.