In response to increases in human–wildlife conflicts in urban and suburban environments, many states have established nuisance wildlife control operator (NWCO) programs. Criticism has been leveled at such programs for insufficient emphasis on nonlethal means, particularly the exclusion and translocation of nuisance small and medium-sized mammals. We determined den site selection of lactating raccoons (Procyon lotor) after exclusion and subsequent release from a human residence. Fifteen of 20 females extracted from suburban residences returned to another house at least once. Of the den sites selected 2 months postrelease, 59% were in man-made structures. Our data suggest that most female raccoons removed and excluded from human dwellings will select another house if released on site. We contend this behavior is facilitated by suburban homeowners who fail to take the initiative to prevent entry of wildlife into their homes.
nuisance wildlife control operator