The population of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Denmark has increased rapidly from 1995 when the first was recorded until today where 3291 raccoon dogs are trapped, shot by hunters or road killed. The aims of this study are to present the first data on reproduction and life tables of raccoon dogs in Denmark and to compare mortality from modelled life tables with game bag records and sampled raccoon dogs in different age groups. In this study, the uteri of 89 adult females (> 10 months) were examined for placental scars (PSC), and 561 individuals (289 males, 272 females) were aged using pulp cavity width and dental lines in canine teeth. The litter size of raccoon dogs in Denmark is to date the largest litter size recorded in the wild (mean ± SE) 10.8 ± 0.4, range 1–16 pubs and fecundity 8.4 ± 0.6 pubs. The percent-reproducing females are 78–83%, based on dark and all PSC, respectively. A significant difference was found between the proportion of individuals composing the different age groups based on age determination of individuals collected (Ntage) and the modelled number of individuals in age groups based on fecundity and different mortality rate (Ntmodel), X2 = 8, p < 0.05. The discrepancy between the relatively high reproduction and lifetables may be due to older and more experienced animals that avoid culling. A low population density in a newly founded Danish population of raccoon dogs, together with a milder climate where raccoon dogs can forage during the winter, may cause an exceptionally high reproduction in Danish raccoon dogs.
- Litter size
- Age determination