Raccoon Dog Where Do They Live

Raccoon dogs: What are they, where are they from?

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They were «terrorising», «vicious» and left a village «under siege» — according to some headlines, but what are raccoon dogs really about?

After a neighbour said one attacked her goat, media organisations around the world portrayed raccoon dogs as something to be feared.

But are they dangerous? How common? Are they raccoons or dogs?

Safe to say, it was a night Clarborough resident Mandy Marsh will not forget in a hurry.

«It was 04:00 and I could hear a wild noise, a noise I’d never heard before,» she said.

«My husband went out and was gone for about 10 minutes and he came back and said, ‘You’ve got to see this’.

«He said, ‘I don’t know what it is, it’s like a wild animal attacking the goat’.»

The couple fended off the «hissing» creature but not before taking a photo, posting it online and asking if anyone knew what it was.

So, what is a raccoon dog?

«A raccoon dog is not a raccoon,» said Stephanie Jayson, senior exotics and wildlife trade officer from the RSPCA.

«It’s not really a dog either, although it is classified as part of the same canid family.

«The closest comparison is with foxes and badgers — nocturnal mammals who like woods and undergrowth.»

Originally from the Far East, raccoon dogs were introduced into eastern Europe as part the fur trade.

Their cuddly appearance meant until recently they were openly traded as exotic pets, which the RSPCA emphasises is a bad idea.

«These are wild animals,» said Ms Jayson. «They need large home ranges. We have seen people keep them in houses, with dogs and in small cages, which is not suitable.

«In these cases they often become aggressive and unmanageable.

«And while they are too small to be dangerous, they can bite and scratch.»

The number in the UK is not known, but the RSPCA rehomed five raccoon dogs in 2018 and eight in 2017 and has had «a number» of calls this year.

«While the numbers are not great, if they get out, they pose a high risk establishing in the wild,» said Ms Jayson.

Earlier this year the European Union added raccoon dogs to a list of invasive alien species of concern, which seeks to control populations deemed to be harmful to native wildlife.

Existing owners can keep the animals, but further breeding or sale is banned.

Kevin Smith, invasive species programme officer for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said: «Any populations of raccoon dogs in the wild would compete with native animals, such as foxes, for food and shelter.

«This would also impact on amphibians, birds and small mammals, which the raccoon dogs eat.

«In extreme cases, invasive species are one of the biggest causes of biodiversity loss.

«In some ecosystems, especially islands, invasive species can have a huge impact and even cause extinctions.

«It is much more cost effective for this issue to be tackled early on because if a population becomes established it can be nigh on impossible to remove.»

The animals’ owner, who did not want to be named, said he was concerned for their safety before they were found.

www.bbc.com

Where Do Raccoons Live?

Raccoons may look cute and cuddly, but behind those friendly faces are destructive creatures that can ruin gardens and crops, cause damage to home and property and potentially be a danger to pets and children. Raccoons are savage fighters with sharp teeth and piercing claws, and they will eat just about anything they can find. If you spot a raccoon wandering around your suburban town or even an urban city neighborhood, you may find yourself wondering, exactly where do raccoons live in the city? After all, these invaders are surely not pet raccoons who just happen to have given their owners the slip in order to do some nightly foraging.

See also:  How To Get A Raccoon Out Of Your House

Inside the city limits may not seem like an optimal place for a raccoon to live, but they certainly don’t seem to mind it. Raccoons typically look for places to call home near bodies of water and prefer areas that have lots of trees to use as dens. However, with the spread of urban and suburban areas, raccoons have adapted well to city life. They will often live just outside city limits and travel through storm drains and sewers to find trash cans and dumpsters that provide easy meals.

Because of the variety of foods that a raccoon will eat, they are found just about everywhere in North America. Raccoons don’t discriminate in the types of fare they feast on. They will eat aquatic animals such as frogs and crayfish from streams and ponds, fruits and vegetables from gardens and farms and scraps from trash cans and city dumpsters.

Where Do Raccoons Sleep?

Raccoons are opportunistic creatures when it comes to where they sleep. Most raccoons seem to prefer sleeping in large holes in trees or hollow parts of fallen logs. They also find shelter in abandoned cars, attics, crawl spaces, barns, and sheds.

Raccoons change dens frequently, sometimes moving on to a new den every night. A raccoon may live in a tree one night and relocate to a cozy spot in your attic the next night. During breeding season and harsh winter conditions, however, they will opt to remain hunkered down in their den for more extended stays.

Do Raccoons Live in Trees?

Raccoons are excellent climbers, making tree dens an optimal location. Mothers who are raising their young will typically find a high tree hole away from predators. Juvenile raccoons live in trees for a few months with their mother until they can forage for food on their own.

What to Do If You Find a Raccoon in Your Backyard

The arrival of spring means the emergence of raccoons from wintering locations and into many backyards across North America. Raccoons eat incessantly during the spring and summer months in order to store body fat for the winter, when food sources may not be as abundant. If you spot raccoons in your area, it may be necessary to remove all potential food sources from your property:

  • Move trash inside or lock trash can lids securely in place.
  • Protect your garden by placing raccoon repellent around your garden perimeter.
  • Seal or barricade any holes or crevices in your house that could possibly lead raccoons to find shelter in your attic, basement or shed.

Raccoons are very persistent animals, so they may need to be humanely removed from your property and relocated out of the area using a raccoon trap.

Need Advice?

Are you having issues with invading raccoons on your property? Contact our customer service center at 1-855-5-HAVAHART or ask online for advice on keeping your attic, trash cans and garden free of destructive raccoons. You can also find more tips and tricks on our Havahart® Facebook page. We would love for you to share your own experiences with our community.

For more great resources and exclusive updates on Havahart® products, subscribe to our eNewsletter.

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Raccoon Nation — Raccoon Facts

Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Procyon
Species: Procyon lotor

Size and Weight: The adult raccoon is a medium-sized mammal and the largest of the Procyonidae family. It averages 24 to 38 inches in length and can weigh between 14 to 23 lbs., or more, depending upon habitat and available food. The male raccoon, or boar, is slightly larger than the female, also referred to as sow. The young are called kits.

Physical Features: The mask of black fur that covers its eyes is its most characteristic and familiar feature. One hypothesis for the dark fur is that it may help reduce glare and enhance the nocturnal animal’s night vision. The species has grayish brown fur, almost 90% of which is dense underfur to insulate the animal against the cold. Five to eight light and dark rings alternate on its tail. Because its hind legs are longer than the front legs, a raccoon often appears hunched when they walk or run. The five toes on a raccoon’s front paws are extremely dexterous, functioning essentially as five little fingers which allow it to grasp and manipulate food it finds in the wild as well as a variety of other objects, including doorknobs, jars, and latches. A raccoon’s most heightened sense is its sense of touch. It has very sensitive front paws and this sensitivity increases underwater. When able, a raccoon will examine objects in water.

See also:  What Sound Does A Racoon Make

Life span: In the wild, a raccoon has a life expectancy of about 2 to 3 years, but in captivity a raccoon can live up to 20 years.

Diet: The raccoon is an omnivorous and opportunistic eater, with its diet determined heavily by its environment. Common foods include fruits, plants, nuts, berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs, and crayfish. In urban environments, the animal often sifts through garbage for food. The majority of its diet consists of invertebrates and plant foods.

Geography: The raccoon is native to North America and can be found throughout the United States, except for parts of the Rocky Mountains, and southwestern states like Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. It can also be found in parts of Canada, Mexico and the northern-most regions of South America. During the 20 th century, the species was introduced to other parts of the globe, and now has an extensive presence in countries like Germany, Russia, and Japan.

Habitat: Originally raccoons lived in the tropics where they could be found foraging along riverbanks. Over time they moved north up the continent, successfully adapting to new territories and expanding their diet. Traditionally, they live in tree cavities or burrows emerging at dusk to hunt frogs and crustaceans while keeping an eye out for predators such as coyotes and foxes. Barns have aided their northern migration, offering refuge from cold northern winters, and now, raccoons have been found as far north as Alaska. The species originally kept to the deciduous and mixed forests of North America, but its impressive ability to adapt has enabled the animal to move into a wide range of habitats, from mountainous terrains to large cities. The first urban sighting was in Cincinnati during the 1920s. Raccoon populations do very well in urban areas, primarily due to hunting and trapping restrictions, a general lack of predators, and an abundance of available human food. The size of a raccoon’s home range varies depending on habitat and food supply. In urban areas, its home range generally spans about one mile.

Breeding and Social Structure: The animal is nocturnal, mostly foraging and feeding at night. Though previously thought to be quite solitary, there is now evidence that the species congregates in gender-specific groups. Mating season for raccoons falls generally anytime between January and June. Most females begin reproducing around the age of one. The female has a 65-day gestation period and gives birth to two to five kits, usually in the spring. A mother usually separates from other raccoons to raise her young alone. The male does not participate in the raising of the kits. The black mask is already visible on newly-born kits. The kits stay in the den with their mother until they are between 8-10 weeks old, and will stay with their mother until they reach 13-14 months of age.

Risks: A raccoon has few predators though the animal has been known to be attacked by cougars, bobcats, and coyotes. Disease, infection, and run-ins with cars are generally the primary risks for the species. Some of their diseases, including roundworm, trichinosis and rabies, also place people and pets at risk.

Additional Facts:

  • The raccoon’s scientific name, Procyon lotor is neo-Latin and translates to “before-dog washer.”
  • Christopher Columbus is the first individual we know of to have written about the species.
  • The raccoon’s taxonomy has been debated over time. Carl Linnaeus placed the raccoon in the Ursus genus—first as Ursus cauda elongate (“long-tailed bear”) and then as Ursus lotor (“washer bear”). In 1780, Gottlieb Congrad Christian Storr created a separate genus for the species, Procyon, meaning doglike.
  • The English word “raccoon” is an adaptation of a native Powhatan word meaning “animal that scratches with its hands.”
  • In the winter, the raccoon does not hibernate, but can sleep in its den for weeks.
  • A raccoon can run at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.
  • The raccoon is a good swimmer and can stay in water for several hours.
  • The species makes a variety of vocalizations including hisses, whistles, screams, growls and snarls.
  • A series of studies in the mid-to-late-twentieth century show that a raccoon can remember solutions to tasks for up to 3 years.
See also:  Where To Raccoons Live

www.pbs.org

Raccoon dogs: What are they, where are they from?

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They were «terrorising», «vicious» and left a village «under siege» — according to some headlines, but what are raccoon dogs really about?

After a neighbour said one attacked her goat, media organisations around the world portrayed raccoon dogs as something to be feared.

But are they dangerous? How common? Are they raccoons or dogs?

Safe to say, it was a night Clarborough resident Mandy Marsh will not forget in a hurry.

«It was 04:00 and I could hear a wild noise, a noise I’d never heard before,» she said.

«My husband went out and was gone for about 10 minutes and he came back and said, ‘You’ve got to see this’.

«He said, ‘I don’t know what it is, it’s like a wild animal attacking the goat’.»

The couple fended off the «hissing» creature but not before taking a photo, posting it online and asking if anyone knew what it was.

So, what is a raccoon dog?

«A raccoon dog is not a raccoon,» said Stephanie Jayson, senior exotics and wildlife trade officer from the RSPCA.

«It’s not really a dog either, although it is classified as part of the same canid family.

«The closest comparison is with foxes and badgers — nocturnal mammals who like woods and undergrowth.»

Originally from the Far East, raccoon dogs were introduced into eastern Europe as part the fur trade.

Their cuddly appearance meant until recently they were openly traded as exotic pets, which the RSPCA emphasises is a bad idea.

«These are wild animals,» said Ms Jayson. «They need large home ranges. We have seen people keep them in houses, with dogs and in small cages, which is not suitable.

«In these cases they often become aggressive and unmanageable.

«And while they are too small to be dangerous, they can bite and scratch.»

The number in the UK is not known, but the RSPCA rehomed five raccoon dogs in 2018 and eight in 2017 and has had «a number» of calls this year.

«While the numbers are not great, if they get out, they pose a high risk establishing in the wild,» said Ms Jayson.

Earlier this year the European Union added raccoon dogs to a list of invasive alien species of concern, which seeks to control populations deemed to be harmful to native wildlife.

Existing owners can keep the animals, but further breeding or sale is banned.

Kevin Smith, invasive species programme officer for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said: «Any populations of raccoon dogs in the wild would compete with native animals, such as foxes, for food and shelter.

«This would also impact on amphibians, birds and small mammals, which the raccoon dogs eat.

«In extreme cases, invasive species are one of the biggest causes of biodiversity loss.

«In some ecosystems, especially islands, invasive species can have a huge impact and even cause extinctions.

«It is much more cost effective for this issue to be tackled early on because if a population becomes established it can be nigh on impossible to remove.»

The animals’ owner, who did not want to be named, said he was concerned for their safety before they were found.

www.bbc.com

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