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Procyon lotor

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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
Synonym(s):
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)
Justification:
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.

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:
Native:
Belize; Canada; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; United States
Introduced:
Austria; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Russian Federation; Switzerland; Uzbekistan
Present - origin uncertain:
Bahamas
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.
Population Trend: Increasing

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.
Systems: Terrestrial

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.

Citation: Timm, R., Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. 2008. Procyon lotor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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