How to translate text using browser tools
1 April 2008 Raccoons Use Habitat Edges in Northern Illinois
Erin E. Barding, Thomas A. Nelson
Author Affiliations +

Raccoons (Procyon lotor) have been implicated as important predators impacting nesting birds in the Midwest. Raccoon populations have increased dramatically in Illinois during the past 20 y prompting suggestions that lethal control programs may be warranted. Non-lethal approaches that separate avian nesting habitat from raccoon travel corridors may provide an acceptable alternative, but little is known about foraging patterns by raccoons in agricultural landscapes. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to: (1) evaluate home range size and movements of raccoons during the avian nesting season, (2) describe patterns of habitat selection at multiple spatial scales and (3) suggest management strategies to reduce the impact of raccoons on nesting birds. Twenty-one raccoons were radio-tracked at the Richardson Wildlife Foundation in northern Illinois from May through Aug. of 2002 and 2003. The mean 95% kernel home range was 60.5 ha and the mean 50% core area was 8.1 ha. Males moved faster than females at night, averaging 355.5 m/h vs. 192.3 m/h, respectively. Raccoons tended to follow linear landscape features such as fencerows, forest edges and mowed trails as they foraged at night. Home ranges contained more forest edge and less cropland than expected, and within their home ranges, raccoons foraged selectively along forest edges and wetlands, but generally avoided grasslands and crop fields.

Erin E. Barding and Thomas A. Nelson "Raccoons Use Habitat Edges in Northern Illinois," The American Midland Naturalist 159(2), 394-402, (1 April 2008).[394:RUHEIN]2.0.CO;2
Received: 5 January 2007; Accepted: 1 August 2007; Published: 1 April 2008
Get copyright permission
Back to Top