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The North American Porcupine by Uldis Roze

Porcupine Habitat

Porcupine habitat is as varied as the climates that exist in the North American continent. Porcupines are most happy in forested areas no matter where they live.

Porcupine Habitat-Range

The North American porcupine is found throughout the majority of the Canada and United States and into Mexico. They are quite common in Alaska and east and south though Canada. In the US they are found throughout the western states and as far east as the Great Lakes states. While they used to be found in the south eastern portions of the US, they no longer live in that habitat.

The table below shows the range of all of the species of porcupine found worldwide.

SCIENTIFIC NAME COMMON NAME RANGE
Coendou prehensilis Prehensile Tailed Porcupine Venezuela, Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia, and Trinidad
Echinoprocta rufescens Stump Tailed Porcupine Found in Columbia and Ecuador
Sphiggurus spp. Hairy Porcupines Nine species found from Mexico through South America

On the home front the porcupine has been recorded as extended its habitat about 15 miles, but normally stays pretty close to home. In fact, the animals normally only occupy an area of one (1) to two (2) miles and this is cut dramatically in the winter when they spend their time in only a few close trees. As with most animals, the males will stray the furthest away from home in search of a mate.

Porcupine Habitat-Nests

Porcupines are both arboreal and ground habitat animals and their nests, called dens, can be located in either habitat. Trees with thick cover such as hemlocks are highly prized for den sites, especially in the eastern portions of their range but any tree with sufficient cover will do. Hollowed out logs or tree trunks and crevices in rocks often make the list of den sites chosen for shelter and warmth. Thick brush and cave sites will also serve as a fine home for the porcupine.

From the frozen tundra of northern Canada through the desert southwest of the United States, to the warm, near tropical heat of northern Mexico, North America has every kind of porcupine habitat.

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