1 January 2007 Habitat Characteristics of Raccoon Daytime Resting Sites in Southern Illinois
SHONA E. WILSON, Clayton K. Nielsen
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Although much is known about raccoon (Procyon lotor) denning ecology, little information is available regarding habitat correlates to raccoon daytime resting site (DRS) selection at multiple spatial scales. We studied the influence of habitat factors on DRS selection of raccoons in the Mississippi River bottomlands of southern Illinois. During 2003–2005, 54 adult females were equipped with radiocollars and were tracked to 313 DRS. Using field measurements and remotely sensed data, 156 microhabitat (e.g., den height) and macrohabitat (e.g., forest patch size) variables were measured at: (1) breeding season DRS (1 Dec.–1 Mar.), (2) cub-rearing season DRS (15 Mar.–30 Jun.) and (3) control locations. Tree cavities represented 73% of DRS; the remaining 27% were more exposed DRS. A 5-variable multinomial logistic regression model incorporating tree circumference at breast height, den height, distance to nearest road, distance to nearest water and number of nearby dens was significant (P < 0.001) and correctly classified 71% of DRS and control locations. Thus, microhabitat variables, but not macrohabitat variables, were influential in the selection of DRS for raccoons on our study area. Our study elucidates the importance of microhabitat in the selection of raccoon DRS and provides additional insight into how raccoons use the landscape.

SHONA E. WILSON and Clayton K. Nielsen "Habitat Characteristics of Raccoon Daytime Resting Sites in Southern Illinois," The American Midland Naturalist 157(1), 175-186, (1 January 2007). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2007)157[175:HCORDR]2.0.CO;2
Received: 19 January 2006; Accepted: 1 June 2006; Published: 1 January 2007
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