Raccoon (Procyon lotor)


This animal thrives in both wilderness and urban areas.

Distribution: across all of Louisiana, most of the US, Mexico, and southern Canada, excluding portions of the Rocky Mountains and the arid SW

Habitat: all habitats types in Louisiana, highest densities in marshes and swamps, dens in trees often 30-40 feet above the ground

Appearance: size of a large beagle dog, adults average 8 pounds, grayish to blackish in color, 5 -6 black and gray to yellowish rings on the tail (the tip of the tail is black), prominent black mask across the face bordered by white above and below the black , 40 teeth (including 4 sharp canine teeth)

Reproduction: mating from early January to early April (ocassionally as late as August), gestation of 63 days, 3 per litter; newborns are 2 - 3 oz. and blind (eyes open at 2 weeks)

Food habits: omnivorous, relishing crayfish, crabs, snails, clams, small fish, frogs, earthworms, insects, fruits, berries, and shoots of trees

Habits: good swimmers and tree climbers; front paws are dexterous; the do not hibernate but store layers of fat during the fall to prepare for winter

Controls: prey to coyotes, bobcats, and cougars; juveniles prey to large owls, eagles, and fishers; prone to distemper, rabies, leptospirosis (which can be passed to man); parasites include roundworms, flatworms, tapeworms, mites, lice and fleas

Values: does not compete severely with other species in demand for habitat; damage to sweet corn can be extensive

BMPs for Trapping Raccoons