Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758)

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English Raccoon Status LU: established.1st record: 1989.
Lëtzebuergesch Wäschbier Status EU: established. IAS of Union concern.
Français Raton laveur RA: ISEIA: C3.
Deutsch Waschbär Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Raccoon Wikipedia - Français - Raton laveur Wikipedia - Deutsch - Waschbär Wikipedia - Nederlands - Gewone wasbeer | Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Procyon lotor | CABI
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Report the species

Report Procyon lotor to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758) shows a preference for wetlands and old deciduous forests with hollow trees, often adjacent to water. The species is, however, able to adapt to a high diversity of environmental conditions, including urbanized areas. There is little evidence (but strong suspicion) of species displacement/extinction through predation or interspecific competition by raccoons in Western Europe. Food is often gathered on rubbish dumps or from bins, where the animal can be a nuisance to people. Raccoons are vectors for several diseases, including rabies. The raccoon is included in the appendix under recommendation no.77 of the Council of Europe as a species which has proved to be a threat to biological diversity and for which eradication is strongly recommended (Branquart et al. 2009).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Procyon lotor Linnaeus, 1758 in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2020-01-21.

Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758) probably present in Luxembourg since the 1970s, mainly in the Oesling area (Becker-Krüll & Schaefer 2013).

The first observation documented in the Recorder database dates from 1989. It was found in Munshausen (Municipality of Clervaux).

The raccoon is considered a game animal in Luxembourg since 2011. Between 600 and 700 animals have been shot per year between 2011 and 2013 (Schley et al. 2014: 25).

In the last few years, different cases of people keeping raccoons as illegal pets became public in Luxembourg.

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol: C3 (3+2+2+1) (Ries et al. 2014: 199).

Worldwide distribution

CABI 2009:


  • Becker-Krüll, L. & P. Schaefer, 2013. Jagdbare Wildtierarten Luxemburgs. 96 pp. 1. Aufl. Hrsg. Naturverwaltung Luxemburg. (Order or download PDF)
  • Branquart, E., M. D’aes, B. Manet, G. Motte, V. Schockert & J. Stuyck, 2009. Harmonia database: Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758). Harmonia version 1.2, Belgian Forum on Invasive Species. URL: [accessed on 2019-11-26]
  • CABI, 2009. Procyon lotor (Linnaeus, 1758) [original text by Stanley Gehrt]. In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. URL: [accessed 2019-11-26]
  • Kosik-Bogacka, D., N. Osten-Sacken, N. Łanocha-Arendarczyk, K. Kot, B. Pilarczyk, A. Tomza-Marciniak, J. Podlasińska, M. Chmielarz & M. Heddergott, A.C. Frantz, P. Steinbach, 2019. Selenium and mercury in the hair of raccoons (Procyon lotor) and European wildcats (Felis s. silvestris) from Germany and Luxembourg. Ecotoxicology
  • Pir, J.B. & L. Schley, 2015. Développement des connaissances sur la répartition et l’écologie des mammifères au Luxembourg entre 1990 et 2015. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 116: 437-455. [PDF 2,04 MB]
  • Ries, C., M. Pfeiffenschneider, Engel, E., J.-C. Heidt & M. Lauff, 2014. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of vertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 115: 195-201. [PDF 247 KB]
  • Schley, L., C. Schanck, M. Schaul & C. Sinner, 2001. Neubürger und Heimkehrer unter den Wildtieren Luxemburgs. Beiträge zur Jagd- und Wildforschung 26: 141-154.
  • Schley, L., R. Reding & S. Cellina, 2014. Bulletin technique de l’Administration de la nature et des forêts en matière de gestion de la faune sauvage et de chasse, n° 3, 72 pp. (Order or download PDF)

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-28. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-28.