Despite being hunted in their thousands, a small island in Japan has been designated a protected area for raccoon dogs.
Raccoon dogs can live for about 10 years in captivity.
Body length: 50-55cm, Tail length: 13-18cm, Weight: 4-10kg.
Raccoon dogs are fox-like in build, but with shorter legs and tail. They have a dark patch on the side of the face, similar to a raccoon's facial markings.
They range over E. Siberia, N.E. China, Japan, N. Indo-China. They were introduced to E. and central Europe.
Raccoon dogs inhabit forest and rocky banks near rivers and lakes.
Raccoon dogs are excellent swimmers, and frogs and fish are major food items. They also feed on rodents, acorns, fruit, berries, carrion and rubbish.
They live alone or in family groups of five or six. Raccoon dogs are primarily nocturnal.
They give birth to 6-8 pups, after a gestation period of two months.
About 70,000 raccoon dogs are killed every year in Japan for the fur trade, for consumption and for medical preparations, although they are still common there. Populations have declined in SE Siberia due to overhunting and habitat disturbance.