Northern Raccoons (Procyon lotor), a native species, widely inhabit North America. They occur in many different types of habitats, but remain most abundant in areas near water, including bottomland hardwood forests, hardwood swamps, and marshes. Preferred habitats include a source of mast and hollows in trees. Raccoons adapt easily to human-influenced habitats, such as those in suburban areas. Densities vary depending on food resources and den sites. The species is found across St. Catherines Island, but is probably most abundant in areas adjacent to marshes.
The species is an omnivorous, opportunistic feeder—feeding on seeds, berries, nuts, arthropods, and small vertebrates. But while the species uses a wide range of food sources, it becomes selective when resources are abundant. This can result in a major impact on specific resources.
Raccoons are the primary cause of predation on sea turtle eggs in the Southeast U.S. Their depredation rates on sea turtle nests can range from 49 to 100 percent. They are also a major egg predator of shorebirds, colonial nesting waterbirds, and waterfowl.
A Strategic Conservation Plan for St. Catherines Island, Georgia, Prepared for the St. Catherine’s Island Foundation – Robert D. Sutter, L. Gregory Low, Sara J. Gottlieb, June 2013.