Survival and movements of translocated raccoons in northcentral Illinois

Maia Mosillo, Edward J. Heske, John D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translocation of nuisance raccoons (Procyon lotor) is a common practice, but the fates of translocated animals after release are not known. We monitored postrelease survival rates and dispersal of radio-collared raccoons that were trapped as nuisance wildlife in suburban Chicago and translocated to a rural forest preserve (translocated urban). trapped in another wooded area and translocated to the forest preserve (translocated rural), and trapped and released in the forest preserve that served as the release site for the translocations (resident). Thirty-one raccoons were radiotracked in autumn 1993, and 45 were radiotracked in autumn 1994. We detected no differences in survival rates among the 3 treatment groups (P > 0.05). Resident raccoons tended to remain in the vicinity of the release site, whereas translocated raccoons left the release site within hours to days and dispersed into the surrounding area. Dispersing raccoons had high daily movement rates for the first 2 weeks postrelease but then seemed to establish new home ranges. Translocated raccoons frequently denned near human residences and in agricultural fields, whereas resident raccoons denned primarily in the forest preserve. Because translocated raccoons survived well, translocation could be an effective way to supplement depleted or reestablish extirpated populations of this species. However, translocating large numbers of raccoons for animal damage control could cause problems for other wildlife and human residents near release sites, and translocated animals could serve as vectors for wildlife diseases during zoonotic outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999


  • Animal damage control
  • Illinois
  • Nuisance wildlife
  • Procyon lotor
  • Raccoon
  • Survival rates
  • Translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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