NATIVE RANGE: East Asia
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 1980
PATHWAYS: escape and release from captivity
POSSIBLE TO FIND: year-round
DESCRIPTION: A small wild dog species (head-body length 50-70 cm, with a tail of 13-25 cm), which in overall appearance and size is similar to raccoon. Its fur is yellowish or reddish grey with darker black hairs from its back and shoulders along towards its tail, while the chest, neck, legs and feet are blackish. It has a facial mask similar to a raccoon, but its tail is uniformly coloured like the body.
HABITAT: It especially inhabits areas with a combination of meadows and deciduous or mixed forests with a well developed shrub layer, preferably close to water.
STATUS: A widespread and abundant species in Finland, Poland, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the Ukraine, Germany and Western Russia. Occasional individuals are recorded In other parts of Europe. In Slovenia until now only incidental findings of single individuals in nature and no established populations. Findings can be expected throughout Slovenia.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Raccoon (Procyon lotor) has a similar black facial mask and overall size, but possesses a black-ringed tail. It is somewhat similar to the Eurasian badger (Meles meles), which has a more elongated white head with black stripes running longitudinally instead of a transverse mask, and a light grey body.
NOTE: this species is included in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list) of Regulation (EU) 1143/2014. The species included on the Union list are subject to restrictions and measures set out in the Regulation. These include restrictions on keeping, importing, selling, breeding and growing. Member States are required to take action on pathways of unintentional introduction, to take measures for the early detection and rapid eradication of these species, and to manage species that are already widely spread in their territory.