Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Brian Stockinger, will be participating in the first documented health assessment and disease ecology study of the Eastern spotted skunk, a species in decline throughout the Midwest. By supporting this project the Kansas City Zoo is engaging in direct conservation work with a native and regional species of conservation concern. The Eastern spotted skunk is one of only a few endangered mammalian species in the state of Missouri. The population of skunks that will be assessed inhabit the forested Ozark mountain region spanning southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Each individual skunk will be examined to evaluate their overall health and biological samples will be acquired to test for various diseases. A major goal of the study is to identify potential health and disease-based risk factors that may be associated with other wildlife and/or domestic animals sharing the same environment as the skunks. Additionally, information regarding the impact of human-animal overlap in the study area may be gained. The data and conclusions drawn from this study will enable the zoo to provide new and necessary information to help support and guide Eastern spotted skunk conservation efforts across the species’ range.