UBC Urban Raccoon Project

UBC Urban Raccoon Project

Project Leads

Sarah Benson-Amram, Assistant Professor, Department of Forest and Conservation Science/ Zoology, Faculty of Forestry and Science (Supervisor)

Hannah Griebling, UBC Graduate Student (PhD), Faculty of Forestry

Funding

UBC New Professor Start-Up Fund

About the Project

Researchers will be using wildlife cameras to estimate abundance and monitor the behaviour and activity of raccoons at the UBC Farm. Species such as raccoons are commonly regarded as “pest” species. Understanding where these species are most common, and when they are most active, can aid in the reduction of human-wildlife conflict. This project will also help us understand their daily activity patterns, behavioural flexibility and social organization to better understand how raccoons are learning, adapting and evolving within urban environments.

Research Questions

  1. Can wildlife cameras be used to determine the density of (meso)predators?
  2. In what locations (across Vancouver), and at what times, are raccoons most active?
  3. What areas of Vancouver support high densities of raccoons?
  4. What are the risks and drivers of human-wildlife conflicts with raccoons in Vancouver?

Methods

Researchers will set up a wildlife camera that will take pictures of passing raccoons. These cameras do not flash, and will not disturb or impact the animal. Data from this camera will be used to determine if raccoons are common around UBC Farm and if so when they are most active. This project is part of a wider monitoring network across Vancouver, and across Urban areas in North America as part of the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN Project)

External Links and Publications

Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN Project)

Sarah Benson-Amram’s other publications

Banner photo credit: Hannah Griebling