The Bahamian raccoon (Procyon lotor maynardi), also called Bahama raccoon or Bahamas raccoon, is a subspecies of the common raccoon endemic on the New Providence Island in the Bahamas. The binomial name, "maynardi," comes from Charles Johnson Maynard, an American naturalist.
Thought to be a distinct species in the past, the Bahamian raccoon is now assumed to be conspecific with the common raccoon, what was also the result of a study of morphological and genetic analysis in 2003. The assumption that its occurrence on the Bahamas is the result of a human-sponsored introduction just a few centuries ago is supported by the fact that the Bahaman raccoon seems to be closely related to the Guadeloupe raccoon found on Guadeloupe, an archipelago nearly 2,000 km (1,243 mi) away.
The Bahamian raccoon is small compared to the average size of the common raccoon, making it probably an example of insular dwarfism. Its delicate skull and dentition are similar to the ones of the Guadeloupe raccoon and the small subspecies of the Florida Keys. The coat is gray with a slight ocher tint on the neck and shoulders and the mask is interrupted by a distinct gap between the eyes. On the underparts, only few guard hairs cover the ground hairs.
The authors of the study Taxonomic status and conservation relevance of the raccoons (Procyon spp.) of the West Indies (2003) hold that the Bahamian raccoon is an invasive species which itself poses a threat to the insular ecosystem.The Government of the Bahamas has this species listed as up for eradication on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama.
- Zeveloff, Samuel I. (2002). Raccoons: A Natural History. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Books. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-58834-033-7. (This source was used for all information in this article unless noted otherwise.)
- Helgen, Kristofer M.; Wilson, Don E. (January 2003). "Taxonomic status and conservation relevance of the raccoons (Procyon spp.) of the West Indies". Journal of Zoology. Oxford: The Zoological Society of London. 259 (1): 69–76. doi:10.1017/S0952836902002972. ISSN 0952-8369.
- BEST Commission. http://www.best.bs/publications.html.