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1 October 2011 Seasonal Space Use and Habitat Selection of Adult Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in a Louisiana Bottomland Hardwood Forest
Michael E. Byrne, Michael J. Chamberlain
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Abstract

Raccoon ecology is poorly understood in bottomland hardwood systems, despite the fact that bottomland forests are considered high-quality raccoon habitat. We radio-marked 41 raccoons during 2008–2009 and estimated seasonal space use and habitat selection in a bottomland hardwood forest located within the Atchafalaya floodway system in Louisiana. Space use varied seasonally, with home ranges and core areas largest during the breeding season. Forest openings were important when configuring seasonal home ranges, whereas habitat selection within home ranges varied seasonally. The composition of habitats within core use areas was similar to that of home ranges. We concluded that home range size was influenced by reproductive behaviors and seasonal food availability, whereas habitat selection was most influenced by spatio-temporal changes in seasonal food abundance. Raccoons used all available habitat types and landscape heterogeneity is likely important to raccoons when establishing home ranges in bottomland hardwood forest systems.

Michael E. Byrne and Michael J. Chamberlain "Seasonal Space Use and Habitat Selection of Adult Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in a Louisiana Bottomland Hardwood Forest," The American Midland Naturalist 166(2), 426-434, (1 October 2011). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-166.2.426
Received: 4 January 2011; Accepted: 1 May 2011; Published: 1 October 2011
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