Preliminary Report on the Movement and Fate of Raccoons Released in Unfamiliar Territory

Twelve raccoons (Procyon lotor) were trapped in the lower Coastal Plain of South Carolina and transported to the upper Piedmont of the state. The raccoons were held from one to three weeks during which time they were equipped with radio transmitters. Ten raccoons were released between 4 April and 28 May 1973 and their movements were monitored from 3 to 51 days (mean of 26.8). From 4 April to 17 July 1973 movements ranged from 0.1 to 14.5 linear kilometers (mean of 3.28). The health of the remaining two raccoons was not normal and therefore they were not released. The raccoons remained relatively close to their sites of release for at least a few days following release (mean of 12.6). They often returned to areas where they had been found previously and their movements generally followed close to existing water courses with no apparent preference for direction of travel. This study suggests that the relocating of raccoons into areas in which low populations exist can be successful. Also indicated was a need to hold the raccoons for a period of time before releasing them to determine their state of health.

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