1 January 2002 Seasonal Habitat Selection by Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Intensively Managed Pine Forests of Central Mississippi
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Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are ecological generalists, existing in diverse landscapes. Although general habitat use patterns of raccoons have been extensively described, little research has examined raccoon habitat selection within landscapes managed intensively for wood fiber production. Furthermore, no published studies using radio-telemetry have detailed raccoon habitat selection at multiple spatial scales. We monitored 31 raccoons on a 2000 ha area characterized by short-rotation (<35 y) pine forests in central Mississippi during 1996–1997 and examined seasonal habitat selection at three spatial scales. Habitat selection at the home range scale differed (P = 0.004) between genders. Gender and season interacted to affect habitat selection at the core area scale of selection. Both male and female core areas contained greater proportions of mature hardwood habitats during breeding and young-rearing. Habitat use within home ranges, as determined by point locations, did not differ (P > 0.440) with gender or season. However, raccoons used habitats disproportionately (P = 0.016) relative to habitat composition of the home range. Our findings illustrate the importance of examining individual habitat selection at multiple scales, as raccoon habitat selection in our study varied by scale. Furthermore, our results indicate the importance of hardwood dominated habitats for raccoons existing in pine-dominated landscapes.

MICHAEL J. CHAMBERLAIN, L. MIKE CONNER, and BRUCE D. LEOPOLD "Seasonal Habitat Selection by Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Intensively Managed Pine Forests of Central Mississippi," The American Midland Naturalist 147(1), 102-108, (1 January 2002). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2002)147[0102:SHSBRP]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 September 2001; Published: 1 January 2002
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