Common raccoon dog, why it is considered a vermin



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Common raccoon dog, why it is considered a vermin

The common raccoon dog is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, as it is common in its indigenous Asian range and widely distributed in Europe after artificial introductions. Specimens of the Siberian subspecies N. p. ussuriensis have been reported in north-eastern Italy since the second half of the 1980s, albeit in low numbers.

It is generally considered a pest in Europe, threatening groundbird and amphibian populations, and carries various dangerous diseases such as rabies.
The Nittereute is indigenous to the Far East, from northern Indochina to the southeast corner of Russia.

It is also present in Mongolia and the Japanese archipelago, where it is restricted to Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Awaki, Sado and other islands north of Kyushu. The Nittereute is indigenous to the Far East, from northern Indochina to the southeast corner of Russia.

It is also present in Mongolia and the Japanese archipelago, where it is restricted to Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Awaki, Sado and other islands north of Kyushu. In areas where it has been introduced, the nittereute has been reported to be detrimental to local wildlife, particularly amphibians, and to game birds, especially on islands.

In riverine areas, it feeds almost exclusively on eggs and chicks during spring: they make up 15-20% of its diet in Lithuania, 46% at the Oka and 48.6% in the Voronezh reserve. It is also harmful to furry animals such as muskrats, destroying their burrows and feeding on their young.

In Ukraine and southern Russia, nittereute causes a lot of damage to vegetable gardens, melon crops, vineyards and wheat fields. The species has also been reported to carry parasites and diseases harmful to humans and livestock.

In Finland, an association between nittereute and nematodes of the genus Trichinella has been discovered, and they have been found to host Sarcocystis and Dirofilaria immitis. It is also an important vector of rabies: in Poland and Estonia, 30-50% of rabies cases were attributed to nyttereuts, as were about 75% of cases in Finland during the 1988-1989 epidemic.

In Norway, nyttereuts can be hunted without limit, to prevent the formation of a permanent population. In Denmark, the hunting of nittereute is prohibited except for the purpose of counteracting game damage.