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Home range, body condition, and survival of rehabilitated raccoons ( Procyon lotor) during their first winter

By M. McWilliams, J. A. Wilson

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Abstract

The effects of raccoon ( Procyon lotor) rehabilitation on postrelease survivorship are unknown. Raccoon rehabilitation success was measured as differences in prewinter body condition, home range size, distance to manmade structures, and during-winter survival between raccoons in the wild and those who have been rehabilitated. Prewinter body condition did not differ between wild and rehabilitated raccoons, but there was a trend for rehabilitated raccoons to have better body conditions. There was no difference between wild and rehabilitated raccoon adaptive kernel (AK) home range for 95% and 90% AK home ranges, or for core (50% AK) use areas. There was no sex difference in distance traveled from the release site within rehabilitated raccoons. However, rehabilitated raccoons were found significantly closer (49.44.7 m) to manmade structures than wild raccoons (92.214.4 m), and female raccoons were found significantly closer (64.84.5 m) to manmade structures than male raccoons (72.317.6 m). The results of this study indicate that raccoons can be successfully rehabilitated, but they may occupy habitat closer to manmade structures than wild raccoons.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 133-152
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2014.950733
Language English
Author Address Department of Biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge Street-AH114, Omaha, NE 68182, USA.jameswilson@unomaha.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Body condition
  5. Carnivores
  6. Ecology
  7. Effect
  8. Habitats
  9. Mammals
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. raccoons
  12. sex differences
  13. survival
  14. vertebrates
  15. winter
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  1. peer-reviewed