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Biological Invasions

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1305–1310 | Cite as

Recent invasion and status of the raccoon (Procyon lotor) in Spain

  • Jesús T. García
  • Francisco José García
  • Fernando Alda
  • José Luis González
  • María José Aramburu
  • Yolanda Cortés
  • Beatriz Prieto
  • Belén Pliego
  • María Pérez
  • Javier Herrera
  • Loreto García-Román
Invasion Note

Abstract

In this study we present the results of a baseline study designed to assess the status of the raccoon (Procyon lotor) throughout Spain. The species was reported in 28 localities, mostly consisting of sporadic observations of single individuals. In central Spain an apparently thriving population of raccoons has been recently discovered. Our data confirmed the spread of feral raccoons throughout this region, where the species has already colonized about 100 km of streams and rivers. Predation on local fauna was also proved, and the first approximation for spatial movement and habitat use analyses in Spain is presented. Our results suggest that deliberate releases of raccoons by pet owners are an important cause for the existence of feral raccoons in Spain. Further research should focus on monitoring established individuals to collect detailed data on their population and reproductive parameters. Meanwhile, urgent actions should be taken to stop releases into the wild and to control and eradicate this unwelcome invasive species.

Keywords

Raccoon Procyon lotor Spain Invasive alien species 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the staff working on wildlife conservation in the Regional Park Parque Regional del Sureste, Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, Comunidad Autónoma de Valencia (J. Jiménez) and Comunidad Autónoma de Castilla-La Mancha (Guadalajara Province) for their help in this research (captures) and for providing data on raccoon presence. Capture authorizations were provided by the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid according to the EU laws. The study was partially financed by the Regional Park Parque Regional del Sureste and the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesús T. García
    • 1
  • Francisco José García
    • 2
  • Fernando Alda
    • 1
  • José Luis González
    • 3
  • María José Aramburu
    • 3
  • Yolanda Cortés
    • 2
  • Beatriz Prieto
    • 3
  • Belén Pliego
    • 3
  • María Pérez
    • 3
  • Javier Herrera
    • 3
  • Loreto García-Román
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  2. 2.BIOTAMadridSpain
  3. 3.Consultores en Biología de la Conservación (CBC)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Parque Regional del Sureste, Consejería de Medio AmbienteVivienda y Ordenación del Territorio de la Comunidad de MadridMadridSpain

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