Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Wood Science and Technology
John W. Edwards.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor), a generalist meso-predator, is commonly found throughout the eastern United States. Many researchers have examined the ecology and spatial requirements of raccoons in agricultural and wetland areas of the mid-western and southeastern United States. However, no studies have quantitatively examined raccoon habits in the forested central Appalachians and their response to forest management. During the fall of 2000 through the spring of 2003, I monitored the spatial movements and den site selection of raccoons within an intensively managed forest.;I investigated the occurrence of raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis) in raccoons (Procyon lotor) within my study area. I found no evidence of B. procyonis infection in 25 raccoons sampled by fecal floatation and necropsy methodologies. On the basis of my 25 negative cases at a 95% confidence level the estimated non-detectable maximum constant prevalence rate is 8%. Baylisascaris procyonis has been implicated in population declines of the Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) in the northeastern United States. The low prevalence of B. procyonis in an area inhabited by what is believed to be a stable population of Allegheny woodrats supports conservation measures to monitor anthropogenic activities that may increase the prevalence of B. procyonis or raccoon interaction with Allegheny woodrats.;During my study, I found 13% of all active raccoon locations to be below 800 m elevation and 55% and 92% of the active locations below 900 m and 1000 m respectively. According to the stream buffer analysis, I found 63% of all active locations to be within 200 m of a steam and 82%, 92%, and 98% of all active locations to be within 300 m, 400 m, and 500 m respectively. Restructuring the rabies vaccination bait-drop area on my study site to include an elevational ceiling of 1000 m and focusing the drop zone to within 400 m on either stream bank to target 92% of the nocturnal activity, would effectively reduce the bait-drop area by 36%, while maintaining >70% contact with all animals. Applying these same parameters of 1000 m elevation and within 400 m of a stream would reduce the bait drop area at the county (Randolph) level by 22%. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).
Owen, Sheldon F., "Ecology and management of raccoons within an intensively managed forest in the central Appalachians" (2003). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 1931.