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Mississippi State University

Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Interactions and Spatial Relationships


Results


TWMA

Home range overlap for raccoons on TWMA is still under analysis. We documented 4 instances of males traveling together within shared portions of home ranges and 1 instance of 2 females using the same daytime den. Most instances of interaction within 50 m occurred between adult males, but adult females rarely interacted within 50 m, suggesting avoidance between females. Males and females with overlapping home ranges were only documented as being within 50 m on 2 of 65 instances. However, males and females were frequently located within 100 m of each other while being simultaneously monitored.

GP

Home range overlap for neighboring males was greatest during fall-winter (43%). Neighboring females exhibited greatest overlap during breeding-gestation (40%). Males and females with neighboring or overlapping home ranges exhibited greatest overlap during fall-winter (49%). Core area overlap for neighboring males was greatest during fall-winter (11%). Neighboring females exhibited greatest overlap during breeding-gestation (17%). For males and females with overlapping or neighboring home ranges, greatest overlap occurred during fall-winter (17%).

No males simultaneously monitored were documented as being <50 m of each other. One instance of direct contact was documented between a male and female with overlapping home ranges. No female interactions occurred within 50 m. However, positive interactions within 100m between males and females with overlapping home ranges were common, suggesting that they were frequently located within this distance while being simultaneously monitored.

Summary

Raccoons use a promiscuous or polygynous mating system, thus we expected considerable home range overlap between males and females. Indeed, males and females on GP maintained home ranges that overlapped extensively. Likewise, previous research has reported males to forage or den together on occasion. Our data support these findings, as several males on TWMA frequently traveled or were located together within shared or overlapping portions of home ranges. Our observation that males and females were frequently located close to each other, but seemed to maintain a separation distance, suggest that the 2 sexes perhaps associate only during mating. Likewise, a lack of interaction among neighboring females suggests avoidance. However, whereas bobcats, coyotes, and gray fox spatial characteristics suggested intraspecific territoriality, raccoon home ranges and core areas frequently overlapped, indicating a lack of territoriality.