North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Raccoon

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor
Classification: Game Species and Furbearer 
Abundance: Common throughout state

Species Profile (PDF)

Coexisting with Raccoons (PDF)

     
 

Additional Raccoon Information

These charismatic mammals are highly intelligent and resourceful. In folk stories, raccoons often outwit humans or other animals. Their great adaptability has allowed them to flourish throughout history and in almost all environments. They are common in cities and other urban areas, and many people have surprised a raccoon on a nocturnal raid of their garbage cans.

Three raccoon species are found in North, Central and South America. Our raccoon (Procyon lotor) is the only one found in North America, but it is also native to Central America and has been introduced in parts of Europe and Asia.

The raccoon is easily recognized by its grayish brown fur coat, its distinctive black-ringed tail, and black “mask” around its eyes. Unlike many other animals with thick padded or hooved feet, raccoons have a well-developed sense of touch that they use during feeding.

The raccoon is a game species furbearer with seasons and limits.

Raccoon hunting regulations

Raccoon trapping regulations

Raccoons can be pesky, tenacious critters, and people dealing with one are often desperate for a solution. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as clearing the area of any possible food sources. Other times, the answer may be more complex. Read our Coexisting with Raccoons document (PDF) for more information.

 

Best Management Practices (PDF)