Dr. Stephen Sumithran
Little is known about raccoon den tree characteristics in The Daniel Boone National Forest. In this study, 25 raccoon den trees were found within McCreary and Pulaski counties from May – August 2020 using a Coonhound (“Coon Dog”). For each den tree found, a random tree was located to test for differences between all continuous variables. There were two variables that were found significant: Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) of the den tree and the diversity of mast producing species within the 0.04 ha plot. In this study, the mean DBH for the den trees (29.34cm) significantly differed from the random trees (22.08 cm, p<0.00001) while the mean for diversity of mast producing species within den tree sites (3.12) differed from random sites (2.32, p<0.004). The results shown that raccoons preferred trees within The Daniel Boone National Forests that had a DBH <29.34cm and at least 3 species of mast producing trees within 0.04 hectare from the den tree.