Raccoon habitat is as varied as the continents they are found. Raccoons are very adaptable but require a few essentials. Access to water is, of course, most important and also a close proximity to humans.
The habitats that raccoons live include wooded areas and prairies; coastal and inland areas; tropical climates and northern climates of Canada. Raccoons are not found in desert areas of the United States southwest.
The range of the raccoon consists naturally in the Americas. More specifically, they are found from the middle and lower portions of Canada south through the majority of the United States, exclusive of parts of Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico and continuing south through Mexico and Central America into the tip of South America.
Raccoons have been introduced to parts of Europe and Asia as well. They are doing quite well in these new homes.
The map below illustrates the overall range of the raccoon.
No matter what habitat nature’s little bandit resides in they must have a place to call home, or den. They normally have a different daytime and nighttime spot. During the day they are most often found resting in trees. They don’t seem to feel safe in one (1) spot, consequently, they do not stay in one den for very long. Raccoons move from one (1) den site or resting location to another every few days save for the female with young who will remain in the same nest site for many weeks while raising her young. With that many den location changes there are many different types of sites chosen by the animal.
In wooded areas raccoons will often choose hollowed out trees, rotting logs and rock piles. They may take over the homes of other animals including muskrats. Wet areas that have a healthy cattail population are chosen, too, and only sometimes are raccoons known to reside in an underground burrow of other animals including woodchucks and gophers.
Unfortunately, wooded areas are not always a requirement for home sites. Raccoons will, as many can attest, hang their hat under decks and crawl spaces of homes; they will nest in barns and haystacks; attics, nest boxes, duck boxes, and chimneys.
As one of the few mammals whose success has increased with human populations the climates and ground covers they can live in are closely in line with the continents in which they are native. The crisp winters of the northern United States and the tropical heat of Central America make for suitable raccoon habitat.