The influence of anthropogenic resources on multi-scale habitat selection by raccoons
- 840 Downloads
With the continuing spread of urban areas, gaining a greater understanding of the effect of human presence on wildlife species is essential for wildlife managers. We determined the influence of anthropogenic resources on home range size and habitat selection of raccoons (Procyon lotor) during summer (June–August) 1996–2000 for 120 raccoons at three sites exposed to varying levels of urbanization and anthropogenic resources, specifically food. Home range estimates were larger (P < 0.05) at the rural site than the suburban and urban sites for both genders. We used compositional analysis to examine raccoon habitat selection at the second-order home range, second-order core area, and third-order home range scales. Woodland was consistently a highly-selected habitat type for both sexes at every spatial scale. Relative to other habitat types, habitat associated with human-related food (human use areas) was selected most often at the urban site, intermediately at the suburban site, and not selected at the rural site. Spatial scale also affected habitat selection. Human use areas were preferentially selected at the second- and third-order level at the urban site, third-order level only at the suburban site, and at neither level at the rural site. Additionally, intersexual differences in habitat selection were reduced at the urban site, with both sexes preferentially selecting for human use areas as well as woodland habitat. Smaller home ranges in urbanized environments are often attributed to the abundant and concentrated anthropogenic resources associated with human activity, but with little empirical support. Our habitat selection analyses followed our predictions that raccoon foraging is strongly influenced by the artificial distribution and abundance of human-related food. Male and female raccoons in urban areas reduce their foraging patterns and focus their foraging activity on anthropogenic foods.
KeywordsRaccoon Procyon lotor Habitat selection Illinois
This study was supported by the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the Furbearer Fund of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. McHenry County Conservation District allowed access to their property. Numerous persons from the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation assisted with fieldwork. We especially thank Chris Anchor and Brad Woodson for providing access and logistical support.
- Dwyer JF, Schroeder W, Buck RL (1985) Patterns of use in an urban forest recreation area. In: Wood J (ed) Proceedings of the 1985 National Outdoor Recreation Trends Symposium II. United States Department of the Interior, Atlanta, Georgia, pp 81–89Google Scholar
- Gehrt SD (2003) Raccoons Procyon lotor and allies. In: Feldhamer GA, Thompson BC, Chapman JA, (eds) Wild mammals of North America: biology, management, and conservation, 2nd edn. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, pp 611–634Google Scholar
- Gehrt SD (2004) Ecology and management of striped skunks, raccoons, and coyotes in urban landscapes. In: Fascione N, Delach A, Smith M (eds) Predators and people: from conflict to conservation. Island, Washington, DC, pp 81–104Google Scholar
- Hadidian J, Manski DA, Riley S (1991) Daytime resting site selection in an urban raccoon population. In: Adams LW, Leedy DL (eds) Wildlife conservation in metropolitan environments. National Institute for Urban Wildlife, Columbia, MD, pp 39–45Google Scholar
- Hooge PN, Eichenlaub B (1997) Animal movement extension to ArcView, version 1.1. Alaska Biological Science Center, US Geological Survey, Anchorage, AKGoogle Scholar
- Kaufmann JH (1982) Raccoon and allies. In: Chapman JA, Feldhamer GA (eds) Wild mammals of North America: biology, management and economics. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, pp 567–585Google Scholar
- Rosatte RC, Power MJ, MacInnes CD (1991) Ecology of urban skunks, raccoons, and foxes in metropolitan Toronto. In: Adams LW, Leedy DL (eds) Wildlife conservation in metropolitan environments. National Institute for Urban Wildlife Symposium Series 2, Columbia, MD, pp 31–38Google Scholar
- Sandell M (1989) The mating tactics and spacing patterns of solitary carnivores. In: Gittleman JL (ed) Carnivore Behavior, ecology, and evolution. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, pp 164–182Google Scholar
- Sanderson GC, Nalbandov AV (1973) The reproductive cycle of the raccoon in Illinois. Illinois Nat Hist Surv Bull 31:25–85Google Scholar
- Schinner JR, Cauley DL (1974) The ecology of urban raccoons in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Noyes JH, Progulske DR (eds) Wildlife in an urbanizing environment. Planning and resources development series number 28. Holdsworth Natural Resources Center, Amherst, MA, pp 125–130Google Scholar
- US Bureau of the Census (2006) Statistical abstract of the United States: 2006, 125th edn. US Bureau of the Census, Washington DCGoogle Scholar