Behaviour of the Finnraccoon females during winter
Koistinen, Tarja; Sepponen, Juhani; Raatikainen, Sini; Korhonen, Hannu T. (2018)
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Korhonen, Hannu T.
International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE)
The aim of the study is to document the wintering behaviour in Finnraccoons (Nyctereutes procyonoides). A total of 40 juvenile Finnraccoon females were divided into four housing groups in mid-December: singly housing in a small cage (SC), singly housing in large cage (LC), singly housing in the large cage with access to a winter nest (WN) and social (pair) housing in the large cage (SH). All cages were furnished with an activity object, straw and platform. The behaviour of Finnraccoons was analysed for 24 hours in January and February by using instantaneous sampling. Linear mixed model was used for statistical analysis. Finnraccoons rested 69-75% of their time, without difference between groups (F3,36=0.33, P=0.806) or recordings (F1,36=2.15, P=0.151). The Finnraccoons in the SC and LC groups rested mainly on the cage floor (74-85% of the resting observations), WN group rested in the winter nest (95-98%) and SH group allohuddled (91-95%). More activity was observed in the SC and LC groups (11-12% of time) than in the WN group (9% of time), the SH group being in between (F3,36=3.90, P=0.016); but no difference between recordings (F1,36=2.66, P=0.112) was found. No difference between groups (F3,36=0.63, P=0.602; F3,36=0.64, P=0.595; F3,36=0.53, P=0.662), or recordings (F1,36=1.84, P=0.183, F1,36=0.13, P=0.724; F1,36=0.24, P=0.625) were found in sitting (9-15% of time), standing (5-7%) or stereotypic behaviour (<1-2%), respectively. The results show that Finnraccoon females prefer resting in the nest and allohuddling in winter. They are more active without these preferred resting options, but do not show more stereotypic behaviour.
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