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Home ranges of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides, Gray, 1834) in Southern Brandenburg, Germany

Abstract

The raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides, a medium-sized canid, is a representative of the East Asian fauna and has been introduced to Europe during the years 1928–1953. Today, this alien carnivore is a widespread species in Eastern Europe, Finland and Germany. In our study, we determined home range sizes of raccoon dogs in an agricultural landscape in Northeast Germany between 2001 and 2004 by very high frequency radio tracking. Those data are useful for estimation of predator densities in respect to conservation of biodiversity and also to develop models for disease and parasite transmission. Yearly average home range sizes were calculated as 95% fixed kernel: 1.83 km2 ± 1.54 and as 50% fixed kernel (=core areas): 0.50 km2 ± 0.49. We documented seasonal differences in home range sizes as well as overlapping of home ranges from 0.65% up to 67%. Some individuals’ home ranges recorded during the same season showed a clear shifting between different years. Abandoned badger dens, located in the core areas of raccoon dogs home ranges, were important during the whole year and particularly used in the winter period. Therefore, distribution of those dens had some influence on the spatial distribution of raccoon dogs in the study area. Based on mean annual home range size, we estimated the mean local population density during winter as 1.1 individuals per square kilometre and during summer as 4.90 individuals per square kilometre.

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Acknowledgements

The presented study was part of a 4-year research project on a raccoon dog population in Brandenburg, which provided data for the doctoral thesis of Astrid Sutor. This research was supported by the following organisations: CIC Internationaler Jagdrat zum Schutz des Wildes, Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt, DBU Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Förderverein Großtrappenschutz e.V. This study complies with current German laws. Thanks are also due to the scientific supervisor Prof. Dr. Ilse Storch, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Management for her critical review. We also are very grateful to Dr. Claudia Schoene and Dr. Miriam Hansbauer, who both read the manuscript and gave constructive and helpful comments on it.

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Correspondence to Astrid Sutor.

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Communicated by C. Gortázar

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Sutor, A., Schwarz, S. Home ranges of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides, Gray, 1834) in Southern Brandenburg, Germany. Eur J Wildl Res 58, 85–97 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-011-0546-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-011-0546-6

Keywords

  • Home range size
  • Nyctereutes procyonoides
  • Population density
  • Raccoon dog