Do Raccoons Live In Packs? 🦝

Recently, studies of raccoons have shown that raccoons do often live in packs. Well, mostly in their own versions of packs that is.

Recently, studies of raccoons have shown that raccoons do often live in packs. Well, mostly in their own versions of packs that is.

How Many Raccoons Live In Packs?

Raccoons throughout North and Central America were often believed to be solitary. However, more recent studies have shown that they often form loose groups during the different seasons and depending on the food supply.

Females are more socially acceptable and often share all or part of their home-range with other females. Often wandering around alone – but when good food is found – will forage and feast with other females and their families. Males can often get aggressive around baby raccoons (kits) and so females try very hard to avoid them.

Male behavior however varies with age, breeding season, and food. Younger males often gang up in packs of around 4 β€˜teenagers’ who use each other for backup and general friends. It also gives them more confidence to try new things and learn more about being a successful male. During great feeding – they will often club together – and during thinner feeding, they will split up.

Older males will spend a lot of time alone – searching for the ladies. They are fearless when it comes to other males, predatory animals, and canines – and they will stand up to any threats they find. They can also be bolder around human properties.

Why Do Raccoons Live In Packs?

It makes sense for animals to share resources if they are ample – so by forming these loose and changing pack structures – raccoons can find the best food without having to fight over it (wasting energy in the process). All the while there is enough for everyone – this friendly behavior is advantageous to everyone.

Living in groups also had the added advantage of being more protected from the worst of anything. Many eyes can spot food in the first place – and many ears can also spot predators and other dangers. There are many animals who have chosen pack life for these very reasons – and safety in numbers is a great tactic when times are good.

Living in groups can also be great for staying warm too – and often researchers find groups of up to 20 females all sharing nest sites and huddling together through the worst of the winter. Making friends certainly has its advantages – even if you have to share some berries here and there.

Are Some Raccoons Solitary?

Even though these raccoon packs have their pros – there are times when raccoons chose to go it alone. Both males and females take this path at various times and seem to come to no real harm.

Females often head off to give birth and raise their young. Preferring to go it alone – they devote all their time to caring for their young (between 3-7 a litter). Raccoons, unfortunately, are one of the species where infanticide is quite common – so females need to avoid all other raccoons during this time. Only once the kits are big enough to look after themselves do they return to the pack.

Older sexually-active males head out alone too. They don’t need the backup of friends to face the challenges of the forest (or backyard). Nothing can scare off a full-sized male – especially if he is hungry. This is another reason for living alone – they get to eat any food they find all to themselves. In times of low food or famine – sharing isn’t a good tactic – and fighting can occur. Needless to say – weaker raccoons get chased off – hungry.

Do Sibling Raccoons Live Together?

Baby raccoons usually live together with their mum for the best part of a year. Growing up together helps them learn how to be a raccoon – and helps keep them safe, All through the summer and during their first winter – they all share the same dens and feed and drink together.

Depending on food supplies and other threats – they will move around throughout their home range returning to safe nest sites as well as making new ones if needed. With up to 7 kits in each litter – this could be quite a big group to see together. Probably the most raccoons are seen together by regular wildlife watchers.

Although raccoons are social animals though – they rarely stay in large groups for long.

You can also read out other articles on Raccoons