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17 February 2010 Density, movements, and survival of raccoons in Ontario, Canada: implications for disease spread and management
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During 1994–2007 a total of 156,416 raccoons was live-captured in Ontario, Canada, as part of mark–recapture studies to estimate raccoon density during rabies-control operations. Mean density in southern Ontario ranged between 3.4 and 13.6 raccoons/km2 when density in northern Ontario was <1.5 raccoons/km2. Raccoon density also was significantly higher in mixed cropland and deciduous habitats than in large tracts of deciduous forest in southern Ontario. Raccoons generally travelled <5 km between years during 1994–1997 mark–recapture movement studies in Niagara; however, movements as great as 45 km and among-year differences in movements were observed. Raccoons in rural habitats also moved more extensively than those in urban areas in 1994. Mean home range (minimum convex polygon) for raccoons in eastern Ontario during 2003–2007 was 3.9 km2 for very-high-frequency–collared raccoons and 3.4 km2 for global positioning system–collared raccoons. Mean movement from the release site by collared raccoons over the study period was 1.5 km with the longest movement being 10.3 km. No single habitat was used more or less by collared raccoons than expected. Survival of radiocollared raccoons over the course of the study was 0.62 with survival of raccoons initially captured and released as juveniles and adults being an average of 964 and 786 days. Knowledge of the ecology of raccoons should be used during planning for disease management, and was critical to evaluating the success of rabies-control programs in Ontario, Canada.

Rick Rosatte, Mark Ryckman, Karen Ing, Sarah Proceviat, Mike Allan, Laura Bruce, Dennis Donovan, and J. Chris Davies "Density, movements, and survival of raccoons in Ontario, Canada: implications for disease spread and management," Journal of Mammalogy 91(1), 122-135, (17 February 2010).
Received: 25 June 2008; Accepted: 1 May 2009; Published: 17 February 2010

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