European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 321–326 | Cite as

Dispersal of the alien raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides in Southern Brandenburg, Germany

  • Astrid SutorEmail author
Original Paper


The raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides, an East Asian canid species, was introduced into the European part of the former USSR since 1928. Within 50 years (1935–1984), it colonised a territory of 1.4 million km2 in Europe. A telemetry study took place in Southern Brandenburg in a 60 km2 sized study area with a typical mosaic structured East German agricultural landscape. For catching raccoon dogs, 20 trap boxes were set there in an area of 46 km2, and between February 2001 and July 2004, 15 (5 males, 10 females) adult and 46 (25 males, 21 females) juvenile raccoon dogs were eartagged and adults additionally fitted with radio collars (Biotrack, 150–151 MHz). Data on dispersal behaviour was collected by the relocation points of 11 juveniles (6 males, 5 females). Four juvenile males dispersed even more than 40 km from their trapping places. Additionally, dispersal of two adult males could be documented. This behaviour probably indicates that the German raccoon dog population still is in a process of colonising. This canid’s ability for colonising spacious and distant areas during comparative short periods of time and its preference for habitats with richness of water possibly make this species to be an important vector of fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis—a very dangerous zoonosis.


Nyctereutes procyonoides East Germany Dispersal behaviour Parasite distribution 



This study is part of a 4-year telemetry project on raccoon dogs supported by the following organisations: CIC Internationaler Jagdrat zum Schutz des Wildes, Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt, DBU Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Förderverein Großtrappenschutz e.V. and the Landesveterinäramt Brandenburg. Thanks to my scientific supervisor Prof. Dr. Ilse Storch, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Management. Particularly, I am very grateful to Dr. Kaarina Kauhala for her constructive comments and critical review of the manuscript and for providing the map to my colleague Sabine Schwarz. I also would like to thank the Friedrich-Löffler-Institut Wusterhausen and the SVLA Frankfurt/Oder for veterinary analysis. To all hunters who enabled this telemetry project and to those who give me information about migrated eartagged and radio-collared animals, I am thankful for their support. Performed experiments comply with current German laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Wildlife Ecology and Management, Institute of Forest ZoologyAlbrecht-Ludwigs University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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