Mobility and habitat use of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in an intensively farmed area of the prairie pothole region were studied during the waterfowl breeding seasons (April-July) of 1973-75. Over 5700 locations of 30 raccoons were analyzed. Movement patterns varied with sex, age, and reproductive status. Adult males moved regularly throughout slightly overlapping ranges that averaged 2560 ha. Yearling males dispersed during May-June but their movements before and after dispersal were similar. Parous or pregnant females (mostly adults) had ranges averaging 806 ha but their movements were confined to smaller areas near the litter site after parturition. Nulliparous yearling females did not disperse and their ranges averaged 656 ha. Building sites, wooded areas, and wetlands were the only habitats preferentially used both at night and during the day. Eighty-one percent of all nocturnal locations and 94 percent of all diurnal locations were in these 3 habitats which comprised only 10 percent of the study area. Use of building sites decreased concomitantly with increased use of wetlands. Upland habitats were seldom used.
Additional publication details
Habitat use by prairie raccoons during the waterfowl breeding season