The Raccoon Dog – an important new nest predator of Black-tailed Godwit in northern Germany


28 – 34

1 April 19

Volker Salewski, Luis Schmidt


Volker Salewski
Michael-Otto-Institut im NABU, Goosstroot 1, 24861 Bergenhusen, Germany


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The reproductive success of many declining meadow bird species is too low to maintain populations, and predation of chicks and eggs is often the main reason for breeding failure. We installed cameras at nests of one of these species, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, at two breeding sites in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Of 197 predated nests monitored during 2013–2018, we identified predators from photos in 152 cases; in 45 predation events the predator remained unknown. Identified predators were mainly Red Fox Vulpes vulpes (46.1%), Raccoon Dog Nyctereutes procyonoides (27.6%) and Polecat Mustela putorius (17.8%), with a variety of other mammal or bird species contributing infrequently (8.5% combined). The Raccoon Dog is an invasive alien predator in northern Germany, and is increasing in Schleswig-Holstein. Our records are the first to suggest that the Raccoon Dog is a significant predator of eggs of meadow-breeding shorebirds in central Europe. Whether its predation on clutches is additive or compensatory to that of other predators needs to be determined by further studies.