Introduced raccoons and raccoon dogs on the rise in Europe

Once they were brought to the European continent as fur and hunting animals. Now the animals are opening up ever larger areas

They come from very different parts of the world, but they have a lot in common: the North American raccoon (Procyon lotor) and the Asian-origin raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Both species are roughly the same size, have a distinctive black “facial mask,” and are highly adaptable omnivores. They also share a fate: raccoon dogs and raccoons were brought to Europe in the 20th century as fur-bearing and game animals, and have since increasingly spread across the continent. Both species are now established in Austria as well.

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