Field Guide/Mammals/Northern Raccoon

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Procyon Lotor (Northern Raccoon)
Family: Raccoons
Size: The average length of the Northern Raccoon is 24.96-37.4 in (634-950mm). The average length tail of the tail is 7.8- 15.9 in (200-405mm). It has an average weight is 14.9 lbs. (6.76kg)[1]
Description: The Northern Raccoon has a brown-black facial mask and areas of white hair. Its color varies from an iron grey to black/brownish tints. This species has five toes on each foot with short, compacted claws. Their hands are made to grasp objects and help support their legs and the weight of their body.[1]
Similar Species: This species is distinguished between others by the colors and lines on its face. The skull size is also a distinguishing feature because it is significantly smaller than the body.[1]

Range: The Northern Raccoon is typically found in North America, starting from southern Canada to the southern parts of Mexico. This species can be most commonly found in urban metropolitan areas. In Minnesota specifically, the Northern Raccoon is greatly populated in all parts of the state.[2]
Habitat: This species depends on large vertical structures to climb if they feel threatened or need to escape. They prefer forests and other covered areas so they can hide from predators and hunters.[2]
Diet: This species eats insects, plants, and mice. Fruit, nuts, plants, and worms are the most common. Depending on the season, a raccoon will eat a variety of foods.[3]
Activity: The Northern Raccoon is nocturnal. They prefer to hunt and eat during the night and sleep or mate during the day. They do not hibernate.[4]

Reproduction: This species mating season is January to March. The litter size is 2-3 babies. The baby raccoons are weened by mid-summer after their birth and are free to live on their own by autumn.[1]
Lifespan: The average lifespan of an adult raccoon is 9-11 years of age.[4]

Notes: The Northern Raccoon is the raccoon that run in front of your car. It is the animal that can see at night and thrives in all parts of Minnesota. It is known for its color range of grey, black, and white. Its face mask is what distinguishes itself from other raccoons. Because this raccoon ranges in many parts of the United States it is on the “least concerned” list when it comes to extinction. This is an example of an animal that is very adaptive to human life. It can survive and thrive in a city or the country side and has increasing population size in suburban areas. There are very few threats to the northern raccoon. Hunting the raccoon has increased in many regions. It is commonly hunted using traps, poison, or firearm.
Northern Raccoon

  1. a b c d Joerg-Henner, Lotze; Anderson, Sydney (1979), Procyon Lotor, The American Society of Mammalogists, pp. 1–8 
  2. a b Cuaron, Timm; Helgen, Reid (2008), Procyon Lotor, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, p. 1 
  3. Beasly, James; Atwood, Todd (2012), A Comparison of methods for estimating raccoon abundance: Implications for disease vaccines programs, Journal of Wildlife Management, pp. 1290–1297 
  4. a b Rettit, Michael (2010), Raccoon intelligence at the borderlands of Science, The American Psychological Association, pp. 26–29