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11/28/2022 5 minute read

What Is A Raccoon’s Range?

A raccoon’s range is the area that it occupies during its lifetime. This includes the areas where it lives, feeds, breeds, and travels. A raccoon’s range can be as small as a few square miles or as large as several hundred square miles!

So, have you ever wondered how far a raccoon could travel in its lifetime? Well, wonder no more! We’ll explore the answer to this question and find out just how big a raccoon’s range is.

How Far Does A Raccoon Roam?

The range can vary greatly depending on the geographical area a raccoon lives. For example, a raccoon living in a rural area is likely to have a much more extensive range than one living in an urban area. Mostly because urban raccoons don’t really have to go far to find food or shelter – there are plenty of both available in most cities.

Generally, a raccoon’s range is between 10 and 20 square miles. This means that a raccoon can travel up to 10 miles in any direction from its home base! Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some raccoons have been known to travel much farther distances, up to 100 miles or more from their home ranges. These wanderers are usually young males looking to establish their territories.

Raccoon Home Range Size

The range size of their home can vary if they are male or female. This area can be as small as a few acres or as large as several hundred acres! Male ones are known to have as far as 12000 acres, and the females are usually much smaller since she has to care for their kits.

The size of a raccoon range depends on several factors, including the availability of food and shelter, the presence of many raccoons, and the geographical area it lives. A raccoon living in a rural area is likely to have a larger range than one living in an urban area.

Do Raccoons Mark Their Territory?

Yes, they do mark their territory! They leave raccoon feces and urine in strategic places around their ranges. This helps to warn others that the area is already occupied. It also serves as a way to communicate – for example, to let them know what they are looking for.

However, they can still overlap with other raccoons’ ranges. And although they are solitary animals, there are still times when they interact and socialize. This is often seen as the animal’s way of claiming a potential mate or showing dominance over another raccoon.

Why Do Raccoons Roam?

There are a few reasons why raccoons might roam. One reason is that they are looking for food. Raccoons are opportunists for food supplies, meaning they will eat just about anything they can find! This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, small animals, and even garbage. So, if a raccoon is running low on food, it might roam far and wide in search of a meal.

Another reason why raccoons might roam is because they are looking for a mate. Raccoons are generally solitary animals, but they do come together to mate. Once mating has occurred, the female raccoon will usually go off on her own to raise her young. On the other hand, the male raccoon will often wander off in search of another mate.

Raccoons will also roam in search of a new place to live. This is usually only done if their current home range is not providing them with enough food or shelter. For example, if a raccoon’s den is destroyed, it will need to find a new place to live.

Finally, some raccoons simply enjoy exploring their surroundings! They are naturally curious creatures and love to investigate new places. So, if a raccoon feels like it’s been cooped up for too long, it might set out on an adventure.

What Kind Of Habitat Do Raccoons Prefer?

Raccoons are found throughout North and Central America. They are adaptable creatures who can live in a variety of habitats. They typically live in wooded areas, but they can also be found in urban areas or areas with abundant food and shelter.

Raccoons prefer dense habitats with trees, shrubs, and other vegetation. This provides them plenty of places to hide from predators and build their dens. Raccoons also need access to water, so their habitat must be near a river, lake, or stream.

What Factors Affect A Raccoon’s Range?

Several factors can affect how far a raccoon will roam. One of the most important is the availability of food. If the area has an abundance of food, the raccoon will not need to travel far to find a meal. However, if food is scarce, the raccoon might need to roam farther in search of sustenance.

Another critical factor is the presence of other raccoons. An individual raccoon might have to travel farther to find its territory if there are already many raccoons in the area. Finally, the geographical area where a raccoon lives can also affect its range. Raccoons living in rural areas often have more extensive ranges than in urban areas.

And as we know, male raccoons tend to be more aggressive, so they need to establish their territories to avoid confrontation with other adult male raccoons.

Differences Between Male and Female Home Range Sizes

Raccoon home ranges can differ significantly in size between males and females. Females tend to have much smaller ranges, usually only occupying 1-2 acres of land. Males, on the other hand, can have fields that span hundreds or even thousands of acres.

This is because females cannot afford to wander off to farther places since they have to tend to their young raccoons, while males immediately leave after they mate.

Differences Between Rural And Urban Areas Raccoon Range Sizes

Raccoons have smaller ranges in urban areas because food and shelter are more readily available. This means they don’t have to travel far to find their needs. In rural areas, however, raccoons often travel farther to find food and shelter. This can result in more extensive home ranges.

Raccoons thrive better in urban areas. They have a wide variety of food sources, including garbage, pet food, and bird seed. They also have plenty of places to hide and build their dens.

Do Raccoons Migrate?

Raccoons are not known to migrate. While they might travel long distances in search of food or a mate, they typically stay in the same general area for their entire lives.

In the winter, raccoons will often conserve energy by going into torpor. This is a state of reduced activity where the raccoon’s body temperature and metabolism decrease.  During this time, they will sleep for long periods and will not wander far from their dens.

Raccoon Distribution In North America

Raccoons are native to North America and can be found in Central and northern South America. They are most common in Canada, Mexico, eastern United States, and less in western states. 

In the United States, they are found mainly in the Midwest, Northeast, and West coast except in some parts of Arizona, Rocky Mountains, Utah, and Nevada. In Canada, they are found in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Raccoon Distribution Outside of North America

Raccoons are not found naturally outside of North America. However, they have been introduced to other parts of the world, including Europe, and Asia. In Europe, they can be found in Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. In Asia, they are in Japan and China. They can also be found in the Philippines and Indonesia. 

Raccoons were introduced to these areas for hunting or fur trade. However, they have become a nuisance in many of these places and are often considered an invasive species.

These introduced raccoon populations are typically found in urban areas where they can easily find food and shelter. 

Japan Raccoon Distribution

Raccoons have been introduced in Japan because of the wildly popular cartoon character, Rascal the Raccoon. The cartoon was so popular that people started importing raccoons as pets.

However, the raccoons that escaped or were released into the wild have now established themselves across the country. They are now considered an invasive species in Japan causing problems for farmers as they damage crops.

Japan has since then banned the import of raccoons, but the damage has been done and they continue to spread.

Germany Raccoon Distribution

In Germany, raccoons, often referred to as waschbär, meaning “washing bear” are also introduced as a means to “enrich fauna”  in the country. However, they have now become a nuisance and are often considered a pest. 

They live in forests, hollow trees, rivers, streams, and urban areas eating just about anything they can find including, insects, rodents, eggs, birds, and even garbage.

Former USSR Raccoon Distribution

Raccoons were introduced in the former USSR in 1936 mainly for their fur. Several individual raccoons were released in a forest in Fergana and Kirgiz. These adult raccoons had successfully reproduced and have since thrived in the area.

They are now found across the countries that made up the former USSR including Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. They, too, are considered invasive alien species and a pest in these countries.

Quick Fun Facts…

  • Raccoon’s scientific name, Procyon lotor, translates to “before dog” and “washer” in Latin, which roots back in their habit of washing food in rivers and other bodies of water.
  • Carl Linnaeus first placed raccoons as Ursus cauda elongate, which means a “long tailed bear.” He then changed this into Ursus lotor, meaning “washer bear.”
  • A raccoon’s diet may consist of plants and animal matter, as they are omnivorous.
  • During mating season, sexually mature males will mate with different females; in short, they’re polygamous!


There’s no doubt that raccoons like to roam around and they have a pretty large range. By understanding a bit about their habitat and behavior, you can get a better idea of just how far these little critters can travel. So, the next time you see a raccoon outside your window, you’ll know that it could be from just down the street…or it could be from miles away!

If you notice them on your property and suspect that they may have made a den, it’s best to call in a professional to take a look. Call AAAC Wildlife Removal if you need help getting rid of raccoons on your property.


Where Are Most Raccoons Found in North America?

Raccoons are pretty evenly distributed throughout North America. However, they are most common in Canada, Mexico, and the eastern United States. In the United States, they are found in every state except some parts of Arizona, Rocky Mountains, Utah, and Central Nevada.

Do All Raccoons Have The Same Mating Season?

The breeding season for raccoons worldwide differs a little, like many species. A North American raccoon will start in winter and end in early spring (from January to June); the same goes for raccoons in Japan, peaking in February and litters being born March-May.

Similarly, these raccoons already have enough fat reserves or body fat to suffice them during the winter mating season.

What Are Raccoon’s Predators?

Bigger wildlife like coyotes, wolves, and bobcats as well as large birds of prey like great-horned owls and hawks will hunt and eat raccoons.

Originally published at AAAC Wildlife Removal: