Reproduction and Development
Raccoons have a nest only when nursing young. Breeding begins at one year. Usually 4 kits are born, in March to May, after 63-65 days gestation. Young become independent in autumn. They may foul their nest when adult.
Known as agile climbers, raccoons are also strong but reluctant swimmers. They may carry rabies and thus form a reservoir for the disease. Raccoons are vocal and can whistle, shriek, chatter, click their teeth, snarl, growl and make other sounds.
Raccoons are omnivorous. They manipulate their food in water but do not strictly wash it. They have sensitive hands for use in foraging, as when capturing CRAYFISH.
Relationship with Humans
Raccoons coexist with humans in urban areas and, with sufficient food, will remain active all winter. Young raccoons enjoy human company but they become independent and asocial when mature. Their pelts are used to make coats.
Author C.S. CHURCHER
Links to Other Sites
See a description of the natural history and typical habitat of raccoons in Canada. From the "Hinterland Who's Who" website. Also covers related conservation and biodiversity issues and includes related multimedia and educational resources.
Natural History Notebooks
View illustrated descriptions of a huge variety of Canadian animal species, prehistoric creatures, and endangered/extinct animals. A Canadian Museum of Nature website.
Canadian Biodiversity Website
A great information source for all budding biologists. Learn about biodiversity theory, natural history, and conservation issues. From McGill’s Redpath Museum.