North American Porcupine

North American Porcupine, Erethizon dorsatum

Porcupetta eatingPorcupines are found throughout North America in coniferous forests. In California, they are found primarily in redwood forests, a unique habitat home to many unique species.

Porcupines solitary and primarily nocturnal. Because of this, they are rarely seen even when present. They are excellent climbers, using their long curved claws, rough foot pads and even their tails to help them climb. They will often sleep in fallen logs and trees as well as hide from predators.

When calm, their quills lay flat on their backs covered by long brown and white hairs. If threatened, they will turn and raise the thousands of quills on their back and tail, and slap with their tail. The quills are thick, modified hairs that are barbed on the end. They cannot throw their quills but they easily detach in a predator’s paw or face.

Our porcupine was born and raised in captivity. Since she has been with people her entire life, she is habituated to our care and cannot be released.