ENVIRONMENT YUKON






North American Porcupine

Erethizon dorsatum

Order Rodentia
Family

Erethizontidae


Also known as: Porcupine

Fast Facts

Distribution in Yukon
Length 75 cm Distribution of porcupine in yukon
Weight 10 kg
Lifespan 9-10 years
Habitat
Predators Wolverines, wolves, Fishers

Conservation Status

Yukon S5 (Secure)
Global G5 (Secure)
Yukon population estimate:  Not determined

 

Description

Behaviour

Porcupines are slow moving animals and can usually be heard shuffling through the forest if you are nearby.  When threatened, the porcupine arches its back and draws its quills erect.  Though it cannot throw its quills, they dislodge easily when the porcupine thrashes its club-like tail.  Barbs on a porcupine’s quills are not poisonous. However, if a quill penetrates an attacker, barbs on the quills are able to swell from the surrounding skin moisture, forcing the quill in deeper which can kill if it causes an infection or the recipient, such as a wolf, is unable to eat or drink. 

Diet

Forbs, shrubs and trees, as well as antlers and bones for their mineral content

Sights and sounds

Front porcupine trackPorcupine hind track

 

 

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Tracks

Front: 4.3x3.3 cm Hind: 6.8x4.3 cm

Sound

Screech

 

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