Habitat preferences of nine adult raccoon dogs were investigated during different seasons using compositional analysis after Aebischer et al. (1993). The study area (33 km2) with its mosaic landscape of forest and farmland was located in Southern Brandenburg in eastern Germany (13°56′ E, 51°37′ N). For analysis eight habitat categories were distinguished. Grassland and coniferous woods were favoured both within 95 % fixed-kernel (K95) and within core areas (K50). Grassland offered food at most times of the year and particularly after harvesting of fields. Abandoned badger dens located in coniferous woods within K50 were used by raccoon dogs all year round whereas they apparently avoided anthropogenic structures. Other habitat categories were used randomly and we detected no seasonal differences in relative usage. Such heterogeneous agricultural landscapes dominate the central and western European landscape. Furthermore, short winters and low density of top predators provide beneficial living conditions for raccoon dogs. Its flexibility in habitat use, omnivorous diet and ability to disperse over long distances facilitate a further expansion of the raccoon dog in western and southern Europe.
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