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Invasive raccoon management systems and challenges in regions with active control.

BMC Ecology 2020 December 12
BACKGROUND: The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an invasive, non-native species in Japan. Throughout the country, it causes significant agricultural damage and negatively affects native biodiversity. Most of the responsibility for raccoon management lies with local government, and there are still many challenges to be overcome. Although raccoon populations have not been eradicated, intensive control campaigns such as focus on the early stages of invasion have controlled raccoons in some regions. To improve the national management of raccoons, we conducted a survey on raccoon management systems in local government departments considered to solve the challenges recognized in many areas. During 2014 and 2015, we surveyed three different municipal departments about raccoon management measures. The semi-structured interview survey covered two topics: (1) the situation leading up to the current management system; (2) the current management system.

RESULTS: Our results describe the scope and methods used in raccoon management. The government staff managed raccoons using monitoring, employing a variety of methods, a range of budgets, and various role divisions. The management practices are similar in that they share a sense of taking precautions, collaborating with stakeholders, understanding that adequate methods must be used, and obtaining support from experts.

CONCLUSIONS: Our case studies reveal the challenges in raccoon management faced by local government officers in regions with active control. The management systems and methods that we surveyed seemed to be effective in solving problems in both developed and undeveloped areas.

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