Population genetic structure of raccoons as a consequence of multiple introductions and range expansion in the Boso Peninsula, Japan.
The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an invasive carnivore that invaded various areas of the world. Although controlling feral raccoon populations is important to reduce serious threats to local ecosystems, raccoons are not under rigid population control in Europe and Japan. We examined the D-loop and nuclear microsatellite regions to identify spatially explicit and feasible management units for effective population control and further range expansion retardation. Through the identification of five mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and three nuclear genetic groups, we identified at least three independent introductions, range expansion, and subsequent genetic admixture in the Boso Peninsula. The management unit considered that two were appropriate because two populations have already genetic exchange. Furthermore, when taking management, we think that it is important to monitor DNA at the same time as capture measures for feasible management. This makes it possible to determine whether there is a invasion that has a significant impact on population growth from out of the unit, and enables adaptive management.