The masked bandit of endangered species

©Alex O’Neal

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to several threatened and endangered species such as the piping plover (Charadrius melodus), American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliates) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). But raccoons typically prey on these species and can interfere with their nesting success. In a “Science Café” talk hosted by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences — also the venue for a field trip this fall that’s part of the 2016 TWS Annual Conference — Arielle Parsons, a researcher at the museum discussed raccoon ecology and explained the benefits of understanding raccoon populations to conserve these other species. Check out the entire talk here.