Northern Raccoon

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Project Description

Northern Raccoon

Procyon lotor

Range/Geographical Distribution: Southern Canada, most of the United States, Mexico, and Central America to Panama.

Habitat: Mostly in wetlands, damp woods, and suburban areas.

Description: A medium-sized, gray mammal with a black mask and a short, black-ringed tail. 

Size: Head and body16-24” long, tail six to 16” long. Can weigh up to 33lbs.

Food: Diet is dependent on habitat but generally includes fruits, plants, nuts, berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs, and crayfish.

Breeding: Raccoons breed in early spring and females give birth to two to seven young in late spring.

Predators: Foxes, bobcats, owls, and eagles often prey on young but most deaths occur from automobiles.

Conservation Status: Classified as least concern on the IUCN Red List. Abundant and even hunted in some areas for their fur.

Interesting Facts: Raccoons are nocturnal and have excellent night vision.  They can run up to 15 mph and are very agile tree climbers.  Raccoons are more closely related to pandas than weasels and they only live two to three years in the wild.  These mammals do not hibernate but may stay in a den for days during bad weather. 

On the Coast: Raccoons can be seen foraging along coastal Georgia’s marshes, dabbling in the water for prey and manipulating it with their front paws.  There footprints are also often seen in the mud along the saltmarsh.

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