In New Brunswick, Raccoons Prefer The City To The Forest

There are more raccoons in New Brunswick cities than in its forests, according to the preliminary results of the first study of their population in the province.

The field study, launched in August, was completed recently. “It’s kind of what we expected,” says Mike Allan, the provincial rabies control coordinator. “This is in line with the literature across the country.”

According to researchers, the food sources are bigger in town. Household waste, in particular, is very attractive to raccoons. “Raccoons have really adapted very well to these scenarios,” he says.

He also mentions the high presence of these animals in urban parks, where they do not have to search far to find food and water.

The data collected by the cameras inside the cages is analyzed by researchers at the University of New Brunswick. To date, the data are consistent with the expectations of provincial experts.

“The assumptions we made before the study took place are largely confirmed,” says Mike Allan.

The final results of the study will be used to better target the provincial wildlife rabies vaccination program. With this program, vaccines are administered to animals by means of baits that airplanes drop into spaces where the virus may be thought to arise.

Mike Allan said that in the past three years, rabies cases have declined. “We had 23 in 2015, one in 2016 and four in 2017.”

The final report is expected next year.

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories. Tel: 213-532-3799 (ext 5) Email:

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