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RACCOONS VS DUMPSTERS AT SUNY PURCHASE

December 07, 2017
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    Danielle Barone and Matthew Leichman stayed up late to watch raccoons

By: Pearce Pedro and Zachary Juman

TWEET: ​BREAKING: PURCHASE STUDENTS FOUND THAT RACCOONS PREFER DUMPSTERS FILLED WITH FOOD RATHER THAN THOSE WITH RANDOM GARBAGE. #ECOJOURNAL 

Students Matt and Danielle sought to understand raccoon behavioral habits in the sub-urban environment around SUNY Purchase College campus. Their observations were concerned with which dumpsters would be preferable to the raccoons. The observations were done at night with the use of night vision goggles because raccoons are nocturnal and pedestrian traffic was lower at those times. They found that the dumpster behind the cafeteria which contained a greater percent of food waste attracted a higher number of raccoons.

Future scientific studies should include more sites at different times of night, and over a longer period of time preferably in different seasons of the year. Understanding raccoons’ response to urbanization may help developers better accommodate these animals so that humans can have a less negative impact on their natural environment.