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Raccoon dog - Nyctereutes procyonoides
Raccoon dog - Nyctereutes procyonoides

Despite being hunted in their thousands, a small island in Japan has been designated a protected area for raccoon dogs.

Life span
Raccoon dogs can live for about 10 years in captivity.

Body length: 50-55cm, Tail length: 13-18cm, Weight: 4-10kg.

Physical Description
Raccoon dogs are fox-like in build, but with shorter legs and tail. They have a dark patch on the side of the face, similar to a raccoon's facial markings.

[Image: raccdog-02.jpg]

They range over E. Siberia, N.E. China, Japan, N. Indo-China. They were introduced to E. and central Europe.

[Image: raccoondog_range.gif]

Raccoon dogs inhabit forest and rocky banks near rivers and lakes.

Raccoon dogs are excellent swimmers, and frogs and fish are major food items. They also feed on rodents, acorns, fruit, berries, carrion and rubbish.

They live alone or in family groups of five or six. Raccoon dogs are primarily nocturnal.

They give birth to 6-8 pups, after a gestation period of two months.

[Image: RaccoonDogPups.jpg]

Conservation status
About 70,000 raccoon dogs are killed every year in Japan for the fur trade, for consumption and for medical preparations, although they are still common there. Populations have declined in SE Siberia due to overhunting and habitat disturbance.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Mesopredator Wrote:Here in the Netherlands we have raccoon dogs. Not everywhere yet, but they are spreading.

It's kinda between the fox and the badger. Foxes are the most carnivorous, badger are the most insectivorous.
Raccoondogs eat rodents too, but they are not great hunters, so I've heard. In Germany at least. 
They eat mostly amphibians, rodents, nuts, roots and corn here. And sometimes fruits, insects and carrion.

They do compete with badgers and foxes, and I guess polecats, but not that intense causing foxes and badgers to decrease.
I'm not sure about polecats, and I must admit foxes had decreased in Germany but they were on the increase again. And I'm not entirely sure if it's because of raccoon dogs. I'm not aware of raccoons and raccoondogs competing, I would say competion by the two would be greater then both species with  badgers and foxes. But the raccoon does have a different foraging strategy and needs good trees to escape while the raccoondog only needs dense vegatation to hide.

In Germany raccoondogs use mostly badger dens. The two seem to tolerate eachother - not always of course. Foxes however kill young raccoondogs and raccoondogs kill young foxes.

This is what I remembered about them and what I found quickly searching around the web. I may made some errors.

SpaceCoyote Wrote:The adaptability of the raccoon dog has enabled it to expand its range far beyond its original distribution in Eastern Asia.  Between 1928-1957 some 9000 raccoon dogs were released into the wild in various parts of western Russia in the hope of creating flourishing populations of valuable fur bearing  animals. In this respect the project was a failure since for some unknown reason its fur did not grow as long as in the east, but the raccoon dog took its new environment with great enthusiasm and spread through European Russia, much of Scandinavia and central Europe. It now occurs throughout Germany and has crossed the border into France. By 1984 it was estimated that the raccoon dog had spread over an area of 1,400,000 sq. km since its introduction to the west in 1928. 
Adult Raccoon dogs form a strong pair bond, helping each other to rear young and often staying together for many years.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]

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