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raccoon (Procyon lotor martitimus)

Distribution Map

Distribution Map

Characteristics

In this subspecies of raccoon, the body is stockier, and the head narrower than in Procyon lotor lotor. They have a pointed snout, and a bushy tail with 5-7 blackish rings, and a black tip. The fur is long, coarse, grizzled gray-blackish, and the face mask is brownish-black and less prominent than P. l. lotor. The total length is around 718-762 mm, and the hind foot is 102-111 mm. The breeding season is from January to March, and there is 1 litter of 2-8 (average 3) born in den in April or May. This species is solitary, but may den communally in the winter. This species is primarily nocturnal, with peak feeding before midnight, but with much seasonal and individual variation. They can run rapidly for a considerable distance and are excellent climbers and one of the few mammals able to descend vertical trunks head first. This subspecies is well adapted for survival in tidewater coastal marsh conditions. The medium size, slender build allows fast marsh travel and the pale color blends well with the vegetation. The long, coarse pelage withstands the abrasive action of sharp-edged sedges and grasses. Their lifespan in the wild is up to 16 years although most die by 2-5 years.

Distribution

Proximity to water is very important (swamps, marshes, and water courses) . They are associated with floodplain forests with a predominantly hardwood vegetation cover. This subspecies is found in only the very eastern part of the state.

Foods

They are known to eat turtle eggs. They will take domestic livestock and other mammals as carrion. In the winter many times their diet will switch to mainly vegetation and fruit.

More Information

For more information, please visit the Virginia Fish & Wildlife Information Service (direct link to species booklet).