Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters



Raccoon Procyon lotor

Raccoons are a mostly nocturnal hunter, enjoying fresh fruits, nuts, berries, fish, insects, small mammals, eggs, grubs and amphibians. They are curious and known to eat garbage, chickens and anything left out for them. They are also very important scavengers, who help to keep our ecosystems clean and free of dead decaying animal and vegetable matter. They are sensitive and shy, very intelligent and tactile. They like to dip their food in fresh water and their tracks are easily distinguishable as they have five toes.

Raccoons are native to North America and can be found all across Canada. They generally sleep during the day and scavenge during the night. They have a slow lumbering gait when they walk but can run up to 15 miles an hour. They are agile climbers and can undo most simple latches with their dexterous paws and are good swimmers, often catching food in the water. They are very vocal and playful, teaching their young how to forage from an early age. These mammals are largely misunderstood, as farmers and landowners can make an effort to keep livestock and feed locked up tight at night to reduce negative interactions. They are yellow listed in BC and it is illegal to harm, confine or kill any wildlife in BC. They should not be relocated off island as a solution to livestock conflicts as they will be separated from their offspring.