The Raccoon Dog – Glory and Decay( from Looduskalender)
The Raccoon Dog is the only member of the canid family who hibernates in cold winters. It is named for its superficial resemblance to the non-canid raccoon .The Raccoon Dog is native to China, Korea ,Japan and southeastern Siberia. From East Asia in years 1929-1950 over 9000 raccoon dogs were brought to the European parts of Soviet Union, from where they easily spread to Western Europe. In 1938 was the first raccoon caught in Estonia.
86 raccoons were let loose in different parts of Estonia in 1950, to grow a valuable fur animals population. They were let loose even in the territory of Puhtu Ornithology Station, it was like letting the rat into granary, as the raccoons destroy bird nests.
Raccoon dogs were very adaptable, population increased rapidly and their number was kept in bourders by hunting them because of their fur. A hat from raccoon dog fur was a big hit then.At present their fur is not valued anymore and today raccoon dogs are not wanted species.
Natural enemies of the raccoon ( wolves,bears and lynx ) can`t keep the population in normal numbers, and hunters are not interested in them.
The sin register of raccoons : spreading diseases like rabies, the decrease of the population of the Galliformes ,who nest on the ground (by destroying their nests).
Nobody knows the exact number of raccoon dogs living in Estonian forests and coastland.We can only say that their population is bigger than ever before.
i did my best, sorry, some mistakes , but in big picture that`s that