Predator removal can be an effective strategy for reducing mortality rates of prey species. Because removal programs must continue indefinitely to remain effective, trapping creates a source–sink dynamic that can alter predator spatial distribution and demography. We investigated the intraspecific effects of predator removal by comparing 2 Florida, USA, raccoon (Procyon lotor) populations that are managed to decrease sea turtle egg mortality. Long-term removal created an extremely male-biased population (>10:1), but the proportion of juveniles did not differ between sites. Stable isotope analyses indicate that raccoons on the removal beach originated from inland habitats. Our results suggest that adult males dominate the recolonization of removal areas and the presence of juveniles on the beach is due to predispersal behavior. Because raccoons are highly omnivorous and mobile, intensive management at a small scale may have broader impacts across the landscape that predator-removal programs should consider.
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Vol. 71 • No. 4