Procyon lotor 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Procyonidae

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Raccoon
Spanish Mapache, Mapachín, Zorra Manglera
French Raton Laveur
Procyon gloveralleni Nelson & Goldman, 1930
Procyon insularis Merriam, 1898
Procyon maynardi Bangs, 1898
Procyon minor Miller, 1911
Taxonomic Notes: Includes the Caribbean introduced populations of gloveralleni, minor, and maynardi after Helgen and Wilson (2003); includes insularis after Helgen and Wilson (2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Timm, R., Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern as the species is broadly distributed throughout North and Central America occurring in a variety of habitats, fairly common, present in several protected areas. The species is not undergoing any significant decline and is adaptable to human conversion of habitat - thus its population may be increasing in some areas.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Originally a North and Central American species, occurring from the Canadian prairies southwards across the United States (except for parts of the Rocky Mountains and the deserts) to Panama. Introductions since the 1930s of animals into Germany the Russian Federation, and many subsequent escapes by farmed animals across Europe, have resulted in expanding European and Central Asian populations of this species (Mitchell-Jones et al., 1999). Individuals have also been recorded from Denmark, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Canada; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; United States
Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Russian Federation; Switzerland; Uzbekistan
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The raccoon is generally quite common and very adaptable to the human environment and populations are likely increasing in size in suburban areas.
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is very adaptable and is found almost anywhere water is available, along streams and shorelines. Dens under logs or rock, in tree hole, ground burrow, or in bank den (Armstrong, 1975). In some areas it has adapted to city life and is commensal with the human population. However, raccoons are most abundant in hardwood swamps, mangroves, flood forests, and marshes. Average home range is 90-150 acres (Baker, 1983). Population density was reported as one individual per 10-16 acres by Baker (1983). Typically solitary except female with young. The raccoon is a nocturnal omnivore which forages either singly or in groups. It is an opportunistic omnivore; eats fruits, nuts, insects, small mammals, bird eggs and nestlings, reptile eggs, frogs, fishes, aquatic invertebrates, worms, garbage. Obtains most food on or near ground near water.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Few major threats exist to the species as a whole. Region threats do exist, however, and include hunting, trapping and poisoning. Commonly hunted for sport and trapped for pelt (made into coats, collars, muffs, and trimmings). It is also one of the more common victims of road kill, especially about suburban areas and water bodies.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in numerous protected areas throughout its range.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Marginal  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.2. Unintentional effects (species is not the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Wearing apparel, accessories
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Armstrong, D. M. 1975. Rocky Mountain Mammals. Rocky Mountain Nature Assoc, Inc.

Baker, R. H. 1983. Michigan mammals. Michigan State University Press.

Bozek, C., Prange, S. and Gehrt, S. 2007. The influence of anthropogenic resources on multi-scale habitat selection by raccoons.

Gehrt, S. D. 2004. Ecology and management of striped skunks, raccoons, and coyotes in urban landcscapes. In: N. Fascionem, A. Delach and M. Smith (eds), People and Predators: From Conflict to Conservation, pp. 81-104. Island Press, New York, USA.

Helgen, K. M. and Wilson, D. E. 2003. Taxonomic status and conservation relevance of the raccoons (Procyon spp.) of the West Indies. Journal of Zoology (London) 259: 69-76.

Helgen, K. M. and Wilson, D. E. 2005. A systematic and zoogeographic overview of the raccoons of Mexico and Central America. In: V. Sanchez-Cordero and R. A. Medellin (eds), Contribuciones Mastozoologicas: en Homenaje a Bernardo Villa, pp. 221-236. Instituto de Biología e Instituto de Ecología, UNAM, Mexico.

Mitchell-Jones, A.J., Amori, G., Bogdanowicz, W., Kryštufek, B., Reijnders, P.J.H., Spitzenberger, F., Stubbe, M., Thissen, J.B.M., Vohralik, V. and Zima, J. 1999. The Atlas of European Mammals. Academic Press, London, UK.

Citation: Timm, R., Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. 2008. Procyon lotor. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41686A10512370. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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