The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is an omnivorous carnivore from East Asia, which has been introduced in Europe. It has recently established a free-ranging population in Denmark. The dietary habits of this non-native species were examined and compared to the diet of native badger (Meles meles) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes). The raccoon dog diet was determined from undigested remains in the stomach. The examined raccoon dogs primarily originated from road kills, hunting and culling. Individuals that were caught in baited traps were excluded from the analysis. A total of 244 free-ranging raccoon dogs were collected in 2008-2014. Only 129 of these were included in the analysis based on the cause of death. The diet of raccoon dogs comprised small mammals (56% frequency of occurrence (FO) and carcasses/unidentified materials (57% FO); invertebrates (86% FO); birds (46% FO); fruits/berries (34% FO) and amphibians (44% FO). The importance of amphibians and fruits/berries varied according to seasonal availability, peaking during spring-summer and summer-autumn, respectively. The raccoon dogs’ food niche was wider than the food niche of badgers and red fox (Levin’s standard index: 0.68, 0.37 and 0.30, respectively). Percentage food overlap between raccoon dog and badger was higher (70%) than food overlap with red fox (45%). The study suggests that birds’ eggs and nestlings is a rare food for raccoon dogs as also observed in most other European dietary studies of raccoon dogs. To determine whether the impact of raccoon dog is a threat to populations of birds, amphibians and other prey, studies on the prey populations in relation to the predation pressure of other non-native, native mammalian and avian predators are needed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diet of Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and its Food Niche Overlap with Native Predators in Denmark|
|Journal||Flora og Fauna|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|