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Range DescriptionThe historical distribution of this species was the Far East, from northern Indochina to the southeast corner of Russia, also in Mongolia. In the Japanese Archipelago, the species was confined to Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Awaji island, Sado island and other islets of Japan except those south of Kyushu (e.g., Okinawa islands, Nansei islands, Miyako islands and Ogasawara islands). There has been a recent introduction in Yakushima island (S. Azuma pers. comm.)
Today, the species has been widely introduced. It is now widespread in northern and eastern Europe, thriving in moist forests with abundant undergrowth. The northern limit of distribution lies in areas where the mean temperature of the year is just above 0°C, the snow cover about 800 mm, the duration of the snow cover 175 days and the length of the growing season 135 days (for example, in Finland the northern limit of permanent distribution is between 65°N and the Arctic Circle). If winters become milder, the raccoon dog may expand its range northwards.