If you’re planning a trip to Mexico or are simply curious about the wildlife found in this diverse North American country, you may be wondering – does Mexico have raccoons? The answer is yes, raccoons can be found throughout much of Mexico.

While raccoons are certainly abundant in places like the United States and Canada, many people don’t realize that these mischievous and clever mammals also have an extensive range that covers huge swaths of Mexico. Let’s take a closer look at raccoons in Mexico, where they live, their behaviors, and more.

Raccoon Species Found in Mexico

There are several different raccoon species that call Mexico home. The most widespread and common is the northern raccoon (Procyon lotor). This is the same species found across much of the United States, Canada, and even parts of the Caribbean.

Raccoon dog

Northern raccoons have distinctive mask-like markings around their eyes and striped tails. These omnivores are extremely adaptable and can live in a variety of habitats, from forests to urban areas, as long as they have access to food sources and denning sites.

In addition to the northern raccoon, Mexico is home to three other unique raccoon species:

  • The cozumel raccoon (Procyon pygmaeus) is only found on the island of Cozumel off the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • The Mexican raccoon (Procyon mexicanus) is found in western central Mexico.
  • The tres marias raccoon (Procyon insularis) is limited to the Tres Marias Islands off the western coast of mainland Mexico.

These island and regional raccoon species are less widespread than the northern raccoon and face greater threats from habitat loss and human encroachment.

Where Do Raccoons Live in Mexico?

Given their highly adaptable nature, raccoons occupy arange habitats all across Mexico. They are especially abundant in forested areas, marshes, and near water sources where they can hunt for food and build their dens.

Raccoon dog

Some of the Mexican states and regions with the highest raccoon populations include:

  • Baja California
  • Sonora
  • Chihuahua
  • Sinaloa
  • Jalisco
  • Michoacán
  • Guerrero
  • Oaxaca
  • Chiapas
  • Yucatan Peninsula

However, raccoons can also been seen living in urban and suburban areas of major Mexican cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and more. They are clever scavengers and will take advantage of human sources of food like garbage, pet food, gardens, etc.

Raccoon Behaviors in Mexico

Much like their raccoon counterparts to the north, Mexican raccoons exhibit many of the same fascinating and mischievous behaviors. They are nocturnal animals, staying hidden during the day in their dens which can be found in tree cavities, abandoned burrows, brush piles, and more.

Raccoon dog

At night, raccoons emerge and use their human-like hands along with an excellent sense of touch to locate and capture prey. They are omnivores and opportunistic eaters, feeding on a variety of foods including:

  • Rodents, frogs, eggs, and other small animals
  • Fish and aquatic creatures found in rivers, lakes, and along coastlines
  • Fruits, berries, nuts, and other plant matter
  • Insects, grubs, and larvae
  • Human garbage and food waste

Raccoon dog

Raccoons are also very intelligent animals and have adapted remarkably well to living among humans in urban environments. Their dexterous paws and problem-solving skills allow them to open garbage cans, access pet food, and find clever ways into homes and buildings.

Despite their frequent presence around humans, raccoons can be dangerous if threatened or encountered at close range. They have sharp claws and teeth and can potentially carry diseases like rabies.

Conservation Status of Mexican Raccoons

While widespread across much of the country, some raccoon species found only in Mexico are facing threats to their survival. Habitat loss from deforestation, urban development, and industrial activities like logging has reduced the wild areas available for different raccoon populations.

The cozumel raccoon, in particular, is considered critically endangered with perhaps only a few hundred individuals remaining on the island. They have lost much of their original mangrove forest habitat. Meanwhile the Mexican raccoon (Procyon mexicanus) and tres marias raccoon are classified as endangered species.

Raccoon dog

Conservation efforts are underway to protect these unique subspecies. However, the more common northern raccoon still has a stable and widespread population across Mexico and its range in the United States and Canada.

So in summary, while maybe not the first animal you’d expect to encounter, raccoons are very much a part of Mexico’s diverse wildlife. Whether catching a glimpse of one rummaging through garbage in Mexico City or spotting their telltale tracks along a Baja beach, these adaptable mammals make themselves at home throughout this remarkable country and its varied landscapes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *