Garcia J.T.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos IREC CSIC UCLM JCCM |
Garcia F.J.,BIOTA |
Alda F.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos IREC CSIC UCLM JCCM |
Gonzalez J.L.,Consultores en Biologia de la Conservacion CBC |
And 7 more authors.
Biological Invasions | Year: 2012
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. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.