Mammals of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Common Raccoon - Procyon lotor
Sole representative of Procyonidae in NC
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Photo by: S.Bland
Distribution Occurs throughout NC, and certainly present in all 100 counties.

Essentially throughout the lower 48 states and southern Canada, south into Mexico.
Abundance Raccoons are abundant in the Coastal Plain, slightly less so in the Piedmont (i.e., very common), and generally common in the mountains. Note that the iNaturalist website contains photos for more than half of the state's counties, and the editors have not taken the time to update the map with "Photo" records/documentation unless the county had previously no known records (white on the map).
Seasonal Occurrence Occurs year-round.
Habitat Raccoons are usually found near water, mainly fresh water -- swamps, lake and pond margins, canals, marshes, and estuary edges. They range into wooded residential areas, even in places well away from wetlands. However, in most areas they are not found in dry habitats.
Behavior Primarily nocturnal, but at times seen during the day, mainly in cloudy weather. They are usually seen close to water, such as along shores, on mudflats, in ditches and canals borders, marshes, etc. In residential areas, they often raid garbage cans and even take food left out for pets.
Comments Raccoons have certainly increased across their range, and in NC, in recent decades. Though predators such as Coyote have increased in that period, the increase in open water areas such as beaver ponds and an increase in garbage dumps, residential areas with food, and other sites with food have helped the adaptable Raccoon expand its numbers.
Origin Native
NC List Official
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
subspecies Procyon lotor lotor

One or two other subspecies might be present in the state.
other_comName Raccoon, Northern Raccoon
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all database records for species in that county.