The raccoon dog treats family dog, to group of predatory. In 1936 the first party of raccoon dogs (50 individuals) received from state fur farm was let out in Checherskom and Svetlogorsk areas of the Gomel region. Till this time for territories of Belarus the raccoon dogs coming from the neighboring regions of the Russian Federation – Tver, Pskov and Smolensk where they were let out before met (Cornflowers, Golodushko, 1969). In total in Republic of Belarus 17 releases of this look, were carried out by total of 370 individuals. By 1960 the small animal met in Belarus almost everywhere (Pavlov, etc., 1974) . In general on the republic of a maximum of number this look reached to the middle of the 50th years. However considerable population density of small animals was observed only in northern part of the republic. High level of number kept to the middle of the 60th years, despite destructive actions and the strengthened trade use begun in 1949. The maximum quantity of skins of this look – 6485 pieces – was prepared in 1956. (Cornflowers, Golodushko, 1969).
Decrease in preparations of skins of a raccoon dog in Belarus in the early eighties is explained by reduction of its number owing to drainage and clearing of forest bogs, agricultural melioration of inundated grounds, diseases, and also as a result of extermination of this small animal by hunters and predators (a wolf, a lynx). Widely extended subsidence of furs at hunters also affected decrease in preparations of skins. As a result in 1982 from the Belarusian hunters arrived on storage places of only 97 skins. But with increase of purchase prices of wild furs in 1983 preparations of skins of a raccoon dog increased in comparison with 1982 by 8,8 times and made 837 pieces. Thus, acclimatization of a raccoon dog allowed to fill up structure of trade fauna of Belarus.
The raccoon dog is low standing, growth does not concede to a polar fox; on coloring reminds a raccoon why in fur business and carries the name of "an Ussuriysk raccoon".
The head of a raccoon dog in comparison with trunk size very small. The short, wide, rounded-off ears are almost hidden in fur, especially in winter. The tail is very fluffy, long-haired, reaches nearly a half of length of a trunk. On cheeks at a raccoon dog tanks from the extended hair are developed.
Coloring of summer fur consists of mix of black-brown and reddish and pale-yellow flowers, and on a back dark coloring forms a crosswise figure. The breast is brown-blackish, a stomach and inguinal area dim, brownish gray and pale-yellow. A forehead and a nape black with a brownish shade. From an eye the wide, but indistinct yellow-white strip reaches for an ear. Ears on back parts black-brown, from within they pale-pale-yellow with a rusty shade. From ears on each side necks reach for shovels, extending, two bright rusty and pale-yellow strips; they are contrastly allocated on the black and black-brown field of a chin, neck and breast. Legs are black-brown. Coloring of a tail dark gray with a brownish shade in trailer part. Foot naked. Claws are yellowish and whitish. In coloring of winter fur prevail gryaznopalevy tone, with black and black-brown impurity on the ends of hair. Well develops magnificent gray and brownish podpush. The crosswise black pattern on a back in winter fur acts not so distinctly, as in summer.
Differs from other representatives of family of dogs in the extended hair forming "tanks" on head sides and it is black the painted cheeks. Besides, on the lower jaw under a coronal shoot there is a big ledge in the form of the rounded-off shoot.
From biological features of a raccoon dog it should be noted her pantophagy, ability to save up a large supply of subcutaneous fat by fall, up to 1 cm thick and to fall into hibernation. The autumn well-fad raccoon dog weighs to 7,5 kg.
The dung of a raccoon dog reminds dog, 6 — 7 cm and 2 — 2,5 cm long in the diameter. Color mostly light brown or earthy-gray.
This animal lodges mainly on river valleys, sea coasts, near lakes, choosing coppices, stony taluses, sites of the mixed woods.
The raccoon dog digs out deep holes in the earth, with several lateral otnorka. Sometimes she occupies old barsuch and fox holes or arranges herself a temporary den in roots vyvorochenny with a tree storm, among a windfall, under stones, etc.
Since November falls into hibernation, lying in a deep hole where arranges a soft bed, covering it a moss and a dry grass. Terms of approach and end of hibernation fluctuate depending on a condition of weather. Usually lies in November and wakes up in March. Separate lean individuals do not fall asleep for winter and only in strong cold weather or snow blizzards lie for some time, having sometimes stuck under cover of roots vyvorotnya, under a snag, etc. somewhere. Hibernation of a raccoon dog superficial and in warm days even in the middle of the winter it wakes up, comes out the shelters and wanders about snow.
Techka begins at once after hibernation, in the early spring, in March when snow still lies. The raccoon dog treats polygamous (polygamous) animals. In the Far East in the period of a techka usually chases one female several males who are quite often entering a fight among themselves; in the Leningrad region rutting happens pair. Pregnancy continues 52 days; young people appear in May; in one dung the female brings 6 — 8 cubs. By fall young people grow up and begin independent life.
The food of a raccoon dog is very various. It consists of mice, frogs, lizards, snakes, birds and their eggs, fishes and various insects. At the end of summer and in the fall the raccoon dog eats various berries and fruits in a significant amount, does not disdain drop. In areas of acclimatization quickly gets used to the person, sometimes approaches the housing where selects various garbage, wanders about roads in the winter and eats manure. A raccoon dog — a night animal. Comes for production in twilight. Coming back to a hole, follows the old.
The voice of a raccoon dog represents silent squeal. Gives the good warm fur especially suitable for clothes of pilots. In a midland of the country of a skin of the acclimatized raccoon dogs gain full-fledged fur qualities at the end of November or at the beginning of December and if at the beginning of winter there are insignificant frosts, then for about 10 — 15 days later.
Unfortunately, the raccoon dog is drawn towards inundated, coastal grounds where she is most undesirable to the dichny sports hunting ground. In such conditions this animal can be an original scourge of a dicherazvedeniye, especially considering his tendency to careful survey of the hunting site. In Republic of Belarus this predator is recognized as an undesirable look. Hunting for it is allowed all the year round according to the permits of farms issued on production of undesirable types. One of founders of a game management P. B. Yurgenson (1968) considered, "... that moving of a raccoon dog rendered an ill turn to a dicherazvedeniye. It is necessary to improve in every possible way situation, the basic is to give full freedom to take in assigned sports hunting grounds any measures for protection of a game without restrictions of terms and ways. Vague measures will not be effective".
This statement is fair also for conditions of Republic of Belarus. Injurious activity of a raccoon dog and her epizootic value in grounds of Republic of Belarus are studied insufficiently. The raccoon dog has a wide range of the consumed forages of an animal and a phytogenesis. The structure of a diet of this look in different geographical zones has the features that, undoubtedly, testifies to high fodder plasticity of a raccoon dog. So, for example, in National park "Pripyat" small rodents and birds, and in the Berezinsky reserve – insects, vegetable forages dominate (Deryabina, 2007).
The raccoon dog causes the main damage to hunting economy during nesting nazemnognezdyashchikhsya birds, eating their eggs and baby birds. For example, T.G. Deryabina (2007) for the Polesia national radiation and ecological park provides data that occurrence of birds in summer food of a raccoon dog in 2003 made 25,8%. Among them partridges and sparrow, and also the remains of large birds of prey probably drop are noted.
P. B. Yurgenson in 1968 noted that eating of hares, undoubtedly, is connected with the separate short periods. T.G. Deryabina (2007) provides data that in food of a raccoon dog occurrence of a hare hare makes only 0,6%, but it could be also the drop.
Epidemiological value of a raccoon dog is more serious. Undoubtedly - it is the carrier and a carrier of dangerous diseases. Diseases of a raccoon dog are studied badly. Cases of a piroplasmosis, rage, a tulyaremiya and itch are known (Mashkin, 2003).
In Republic of Belarus in 1996 16 cases of animals of rage were revealed. In 1999 the diagnosis is confirmed in 130 cases, in 2000 – in 385 cases, in 2001 – in 504, in 2002 – in 832, in 2003 – in 1143 cases.
In 2004 the situation improved a little (226 cases), but in the next years growth tendency was outlined again. So, in 2005 rage is revealed at 626 animals, and in 2006 – at 1615 individuals.
Intensity of an epizootic situation in the republic is aggravated with a wide circulation of rage at wild carnivorous in the adjacent states. According to MEB, in 2004 it is registered rage cases in Poland – 136, in Lithuania – 553, in Latvia – 443, in Estonia – 314, in the European part of Russia – 1549.
Reserve and the main source of a virus of rage in Belarus are wild carnivorous, first of all foxes and raccoon dogs to whose share about 70% of cases fall. They directly or through dogs and cats infect with rage of domestic productive animals and the person.
In our opinion, growth of number of carnivorous is caused by several reasons:
– Reduction of terms of hunting for a fox and raccoon dog.
– Unreasonable increase in territories (ownerless grounds), forbidden for hunting, where any work it is not carried out. For example, Naliboksky landscape wildlife area.
– Reduction of production of a fox and raccoon dog in connection with decrease in demand for long-haired furs, and also with disbalance of preparations and realization of wild furs.
– Rise in price of cost of production of hunting animals that promotes outflow of law-abiding citizens from official hunters.
– Insufficiently effective control from veterinary service behind utilization of carcasses of pets on cattle mortuaries which turn into fertilizer platforms for miofag.
In 2006 others also were added to the available reasons:
– Absence from the state of a reward for the got foxes and raccoon dogs.
– A ban of shooting (catching) of neglected dogs and cats who are an important link in distribution of rage.
– Bureaucratization of system of production of undesirable animal species.
As a result of they are the outbreaks of an epizooty of rage in the territory of Belarus. In 2006 in the republic 1615 cases of rage are registered. From this quantity the disease is noted at foxes – in 1060 cases, or 65,6%, at raccoon dogs – in 100 cases or 6,2% and at other animals – in 455 cases, or 28,2%.
To stabilize a situation on rage in the republic, according to a comprehensive plan of actions for prevention of rage for 2007-2010, only in 2007 it was planned to spend 7,4 billion Belarusian rubles from budgetary funds. If to add to it that for each got fox or a raccoon dog, and it is about 30 thousand individuals, it was supposed to pay the hunter still at least on one basic sum, then the lump sum – 10 billion Belarusian rubles from budgetary funds turns out.
The most effective remedies of fight against rage are the actions directed to decrease in number of a fox, raccoon dog and wolf. Increase in number of the specified types promotes growth of cases of rage. Scientific and practical experience of maintaining hunting economy shows that it is possible to stabilize a situation on rage in Belarus and less expensive mechanism. For this purpose only the relevant legislation on hunting is necessary.
Real results in decrease in number of any species of hunting animals can be achieved if the population kernel providing its gain – couple of adult individuals which is annually bringing forth offspring is mentioned. The considerable part of raccoon dogs and foxes uses as hole shelters which should be taken under control for regulation of their number, especially during the spring period when the female is constantly attached to a shelter.
Production of a female will inevitably cause death of young growth, so, and reduction of number of a look. It is necessary to refuse a habitual stereotype of thinking and to allow loopy catching of foxes and raccoon dogs. Loops are established directly at an entrance to a hole that excludes capture (production) of other types of hunting animals and domestic dogs. Only at spring production of a fox and raccoon dog without excess material inputs it is possible to take the number of these types under control.
In our opinion, official hunting for a fox, a raccoon dog and a wolf needs to be opened no later than October 15, and to close on March 15 the next year. The most effective way of production of a raccoon dog – with likes at night, is possible only to her bedding in hibernation when she goes to deep holes and becomes inaccessible for the hunter.
For example, in the neighboring Poland hunting for a fox and a raccoon dog is allowed from September to March. It is necessary to consider high fertility of this look. For example, the average size of a dung by fall determined by V. F. Morozov in 1953 for northwest regions of Russia makes 4,0 individuals. From this follows that by fall the number of a raccoon dog trebles.
The question of considerable reduction of number of undesirable (harmful) animal species is particularly acute not only in Republic of Belarus, but also in the adjacent states (Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation).