Seasonal Home Ranges of Raccoons, Procyon lotor, Using a Common Feeding Site in Rural Eastern Ontario: Rabies Management Implications


  • Sarah C. Totton 340 Second Avenue West, Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 4L7
  • Richard C. Rosatte Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 4840, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 8N8
  • Rowland R. Tinline Geographic Information Systems Laboratory, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
  • Laura L. Bigler Zoonotic Disease Section, Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, P.O. Box 5786, Upper Tower Road, Ithaca, New York 14852-5786



Raccoon, Procyon lotor, rabies, communal feeding, disease transmission, field study, home range, telemetry, Ontario


Thirteen adult Raccoons (Procyon lotor) (six females, seven males) that fed at a garbage dump north of Kingston, Ontario were radio-tracked from 21 June to 16 October 1995 to assess their seasonal home ranges and movements. Average Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP) summer and fall home ranges for the collared Raccoons were 78.4 ha (SD=46.2 ha) and 45.6 ha (SD=29.7 ha), respectively. Average grid cell summer and fall home ranges for the collared Raccoons were 143.3 ha (SD=40.0 ha) and 116.9 ha (SD=24.9 ha), respectively. Summer ranges of the Raccoons were significantly larger than fall ranges using both the MCP method (P=0.05) and the grid cell method (P=0.073). Yearling Raccoons travelled an average summer maximum distance from the dump of 2608 m (SD=1964, n=3), more than double the distance of adults (≥2 yr) at 1239 m (SD=547, n=10). The population density for the study area in late August 1995 was estimated at 1 Raccoon/12 ha based on an effective area surrounding the dump of 234 ha. Home range and movement data may be useful to design a strategy to control Raccoon rabies in Ontario.