Influence of urbanization on home range size and habitat selection of raccoons in northeastern Illinois

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dc.contributor.advisor Gehrt, Stanley
dc.creator Bozek, Clare K. 2006-06-07T14:42:19Z 2006-06-07T14:42:19Z 2006-06
dc.description.abstract With the spread of urban areas, gaining a greater understanding of the effect of human presence on wildlife species is essential for wildlife managers. I determined the influence of urbanization on home range size and habitat selection of raccoons (Procyon lotor). I examined habitat selection of 120 raccoons (52 males, 68 females) at 3 sites near Chicago, IL using radiotelemetry data collected from 1996 to 2000 during the summer season (June – August). These 3 sites differed considerably in degree of urbanization; one was rural, one suburban, and one urban. The study sites were partitioned into 5 habitat categories using aerial photographs: human use, aquatic, short grass, tall grass, and woodland. The Animal Movement extension in ArcView was used to generate fixed kernel home range estimates and thus determine home range size of each animal. Home ranges were found to be significantly larger at the rural site relative to the suburban and urban sites. These results suggest that raccoons were able to occupy smaller home ranges at the suburban and urban sites since food and shelter resources may be more concentrated around areas of human activity such as buildings, housing areas, dumpsters, and picnic areas. By analyzing the radiotelemetry data using the Animal Movement extension in ArcView and compositional analysis, habitat selection of raccoons was examined at the second-order home range, the second-order core-area use, and the third-order home range scales. Human use areas received the highest selection at the urban site, intermediate selection at the suburban site, and no significant selection at the rural site. This illustrates the importance of anthropogenic resources to urban and suburban raccoons. By examining the use of human use areas, managers can better understand the needs and behaviors of this urban wildlife species. en
dc.format.extent 5979323 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher The Ohio State University en
dc.relation.ispartofseries The Ohio State University. Department of Natural Resources Honors Theses; 2006 en
dc.subject raccoons en
dc.subject urbanization en
dc.subject home ranges en
dc.subject habitat selection en
dc.subject Illinois en
dc.title Influence of urbanization on home range size and habitat selection of raccoons in northeastern Illinois en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.embargo en