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Reproductive Inhibition and Mortality in Penned Skunks
Fed Estradiol

LYLE E. NAUMAN

College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point,
223 South Oakley Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481


Ethinyl estradiol has been found to produce an apparent conditioned taste aversion in several common mammalian nest predators. The effects of feeding ethinyl estradiol to skunks during the breeding season were tested under pen-conditions. Game-farm-reared yearling females were individually caged and fed a commercial cat food diet ad-libitum. They were placed with two different males for a 2- to 3-day period to assure impregnation. Four randomly selected animals were assigned to control, weekly, bi-weekly, and single treatment groups. Those receiving treatment were given an egg into which 20 mg of ethinyl estradiol was mixed with flour. All control animals had litters of 2 to 10 kits while only one of the treated females, treated a single time late in pregnancy, had young. All treated weekly died, as did two of the four receiving bi-weekly treatments.
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