Thanks to some strategically deployed high-end trail cameras we recently obtained the first ever footage of predation of a bolson tortoise nest and thus unequivocally identified this little stinker as the culprit.

Furthermore, we also caught a glimpse of the surprising technique the skunk uses to move – and subsequently break open – the egg, which seem to be too large for its mouth. Ingenious!

(BTW: bolson tortoise eggs are about the size of a large chicken egg, but they are rounder; tortoises lay up to three clutches of 5-6 eggs (range: 2-12) between late April and mid-July; incubation period in the nest is highly variable but averages ~110 days. The nest being predated in the video had been in the ground for 65 days).