New York Porcupine

Identification

Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), sometimes called “porkies” or “quill pigs,” are heavy-bodied, short-legged, slow, and awkward rodents, with a waddling gait. Adults are typically 25 to 30 inches (64 to 76 cm) long and weigh 10 to 30 pounds (4.5 to 13.5 kg). They rely on their sharp, barbed quills (up to 30,000 per individual) for defense.

 

Range and Habitat

The porcupine is a common resident of the coniferous forests of western and northern North America. It wanders widely and is found from cottonwood stands along prairie river bottoms and deserts to alpine tundra. They favor caves, rock slides, and thick timber downfalls for shelter.

 

Fun Facts

Young porcupines are capable of eating vegetation within a week after birth, but they generally stay with the female through the summer. Juvenile survival rates are high.

Predators of porcupines include coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, fishers, martens, great horned owls, and others.

 

Damage Prevention and Control Methods

Exclusion
Fences (small areas). Tree trunk guards.

Cultural Methods
Encourage closed-canopy forest stands.

Repellants
None are registered. Some wood preservatives may incidentally repel porcupines.

Toxicants
None are registered.

Fumigants

None are registered.

Trapping
Steel leghold trap (No. 2 or 3). Body-gripping (Conibear®) trap (No. 220 or 330). Box trap.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The above information was adapted from PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE with permission of the editors, Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, and Gary E. Larson (Cooperative Extension Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control, Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee).

Our local New York offices offer Porcupine services in the following cities: Airmont, Altmar, Amawalk, Ardsley, Armonk, Auburn, Aurora, Babylon, Baldwin Place, Baldwinsville, Barneveld, Bayville, Beacon, Bedford, Bedford Hills, Bohemia, Boonville, Brentwood, Brewster, Briarcliff Manor, Bridgewater, Bronxville, Bronxville, Buchanan, Camden, Camillus, Canandaigua, Carmel, Cato, Cayuga Heights, Cazenovia, Centereach, Central Square, Chappaqua, Chester, Chestnut Ridge, Cicero, Clay, Clayville, Cleveland, Clinton, Cold Spring, Commack, Coram, Cornwall, Cornwall-on-hudson, Cortland, Cortlandt Manor, Cross River, Croton-on-hudson, Deer Park, Dewitt, Dix Hills, Dobbs Ferry, Dryden, East Hampton, East Islip, East Syracuse, Eastchester, Elbridge, Elmsford, Fabius, Fair Haven, Farmingville, Fayetteville, Fishkill, Florida, Freeville, Fulton, Garden City, Garrison, Gates, Geneva, Glen Cove, Goshen, Grand View-on-hudson, Greece, Greenwood Lake, Groton, Hannibal, Happague, Harriman, Harrison, Hastings-on-hudson, Haverstraw, Hicksville, Highland Falls, Hillburn, Holbrook, Holland Patent, Homer, Huntington, Hyde Park, Interlaken, Irondequiot, Irvington, Ithaca, Jamesville, Jefferson Valley, Jordan, Kaser, Katonah, Kirvas Joel, Lacona, Lafayette, Lagrangeville, Lansing, Larchmont, Liverpool, Lodi, Long Island, Mahopac, Mamaroneck, Manlius, Manorville, Marathon, Marcellus, Maybook, Mcgraw, Medford, Meridian, Mexico, Middletown, Millbrook, Millerton, Millwood, Minoa, Mohegan Lake, Monroe, Montebello, Montgomery, Montrose, Moravia, Mount Kisco, Mount Vernon, Nanuet, Nelsonville, New City, New Hartford, New Hempstead, New Rochelle, New Square, New Windsor, New York Mills, Newburgh, North Port, North Salem, North Syracuse, Nyack, Oneida Castle, Oriskany, Oriskany Falls, Ossining, Oswego, Otisville, Ovid, Parish, Patchogue, Pawling, Pearl River, Peekskill, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Penfield, Phoenix, Piermont, Pittsford, Pleasantville, Pomona, Pond Ridge, Ponkonkoma, Port Byron, Port Chester, Port Jefferson, Port Jervis, Poughkeepsie, Prospect, Pulaski, Purchase, Purdys, Ramapo, Red Hook, Remsen, Rhinebeck, Riverhead, Rochester, Rome, Rye, Rye Brook, Salt Point, Sandy Creek, Scarsdale, Sea Cliffe, Seneca Falls, Sherrill, Skaneateles, Sleepy Hollow, Sloatsburg, Smithtown, Sodus, Solvay, Somers, South Blooming Grove, South Nyack, South Salem, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern, Sugar Loaf, Sylvan Beach, Syracuse, Tarrytown, Thornwood, Tivoli, Trumansburg, Tuckahoe, Tully, Tuxedo Park, Union Springs, Unionville, Upper Nyack, Utica, Valhalla, Verbank, Vernon, Verplanck, Waccabuc, Walden, Wappingers Falls, Warwick, Washingtonville, Waterloo, Waterville, Weedsport, Wesley Hills, West Hampton, West Haverstraw, West Islip, White Plains, Whitesboro, Woodbury, Yaphank, Yonkers, Yorkville

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