Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
Known to our French neighbours as Raton laveur or ”the little rodent that washes” with their busy, busy little hands. Originally an open forest species they are highly adapatable and now live almost everywhere – they especially like towns and cities with all those garbage bins to check out for snacks. Evening visitors to our garden in the simmer months accompanied by surprisingly large families.
Once thought to be generally solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in sex-specific social behavior. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares (7.4 acres) for females in cities to 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) for males in prairies.