Distribution and habitat In eastern North America, porcupines range from Canada to the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia and Maryland. A porcupine can sometimes defend itself by facing the trunk on a branch and presenting its tail to the fisher. It was one of Michigan… Several Native American names exist, such as the Lakota name pahin meaning quill[8] and the Chipewyan name ts'l.[9]. RELATED: 7 wild and wonderful things to know about Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains State Park. epixanthum, E. d. nigrescens, and E. d. A view looking upstream on the Presque Isle River is shown from the west end of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Gogebic County. A. It is home to 35,000 acre old-growth forest, roaring waterfalls, miles of rivers and streams, more than 90 miles of hiking trails, the Lake Superior shoreline and vistas unrivaled anywhere in the Midwest. Weight can range from 3.5 to 18 kg (7.7 to 39.7 lb). Both can be reached from the same parking area on Little Carp River Road. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Porcupines can also die from falling out of a tree. [14][15], The porcupine is the only native North American mammal with antibiotics in its skin. Porcupines tend to use the same feeding trees repeatedly, which makes their presence quite obvious. The porcupine is found in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Once this is accomplished high in the tree, the mating process takes place on the ground. As a result, the North American porcupine is commonly thought of as a North Woods animal. When the quills are in this position, they become easier to detach from the body, especially when a porcupine swings its tail toward an attacker. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the return of the medium-sized mammal known as fishers to the Lower Peninsula after a near 75-year absence. The only known avian predators of this species are golden eagles and great horned owls. E. d. picinum occupies a small range in northeastern Quebec and Labrador. The porcupine is a caviomorph rodent whose ancestors crossed the Atlantic from Africa to Brazil 30 million years ago,[3][4] and then migrated to North America during the Great American Interchange after the Isthmus of Panama rose 3 million years ago. Disease Concerns: Sarcoptic Mange. Map out your Porcupine Mountains adventure today. Despite popular myth, the porcupine does not throw its quills. [45] It is common throughout its range except in some U.S. states in the southeast part of its range. Waterfalls. The porcupine's last line of defense is to climb a tree. Typically, porcupines stay out of residential areas when searching for food. For example, it is listed as a species in need of conservation in Maryland. [11], Porcupines are usually dark brown or black in color, with white highlights. The quills are normally flattened against the body and in this position are less easily dislodged.[17]. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). They are commonly found in coniferous and mixed forested areas, but have adapted to harsh environments such as shrublands and tundra. Once a dominant male is successful, he approaches the female and uses a spray of his urine on the female. [1], During the summer, they eat twigs, roots, stems, berries, and other vegetation. When porcupines are mating, they tighten their skin and hold their quills flat, so as not to injure each other. The Porcupine Mountains, or Porkies, are a group of small mountains spanning the northwestern Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, near the shore of Lake Superior.The Porcupine Mountains were named by the native Ojibwa people, supposedly because their silhouette had the shape of a crouching porcupine. Mating may occur repeatedly until the female loses interest and climbs back into the tree. When threatened, an adult porcupine can bristle its quills, displaying a white stripe down its back, and use its teeth to make a warning, clacking sound. In eastern North America, porcupines range from Canada to the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia and Maryland. Its roots derive from the Latin words porcus or pig and spina meaning thorns. Female porcupines provide all parental care. [10], The earliest appearance of E. dorsatum is from the Pleistocene era found along the Arroyo del Cedazo near Aguascalientes, Mexico. Alaska is also home to a sizable North American porcupine population. [5], Erethizon dorsatus[2][nb 1]Hystrix dorsata Linnaeus, 1758, The word "porcupine" comes from the middle or old French word porcespin, which means thorn pig. They have a stocky body, a small face, short legs, and a short, thick tail. As of 1994, it was listed as an endangered species in Mexico. With a face full of quills, an attacking creature often retreats. The hike to reach the site is short, roughly a mile, and you’ll also be treated to a view of Nonesuch Falls. [24][34] However, in some cases porcupine quills have indeed killed cougars, although usually this is after the cougar has already consumed the porcupine.[35][36]. According to San Diego Zoo, porcupines normally weigh between 2.5 and 77 pounds (1.2 and 35 kilograms), depending on species. An adult porcupine has about 30,000 quills that cover all of its body except its underbelly, face, and feet. Those antibiotics prevent infection when a porcupine falls out of a tree and is stuck with its own quills upon hitting the ground. As it circles the porcupine, every chance it gets, it bites the face. “But if you have a head net, it’s worth the hike.”. "A newly recognized family from the Horn of Africa, the Heterocephalidae (Rodentia: Ctenohystrica)", "African origin of caviomorph rodents is indicated by incisor enamel microstructure", "Porcupine: Alaska Wildlife Notebook Series", "A facilitated release mechanism for quills of the North American porcupine (, 10.1644/1545-1542(2002)083<0381:afrmfq>2.0.co;2, "Smart Weapons — With an arsenal of quills and chemicals, the porcupine mounts one of nature's most robust defenses against predators", "Porcupine: Erethizon dorsatum bruneri Swenk", "Ecological Characteristics of Fishers in the Southern Oregon Cascade Range", "Endangered Animal Fact Sheet — North American Porcupine", "Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Animals of Maryland", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=North_American_porcupine&oldid=991776173, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 19:35. [7] The porcupine's scientific name, Erethizon dorsatum, can be loosely translated as "the animal with the irritating back". [16], The most distinguishing feature of the porcupine is its coat of quills. Trappers should keep in mind it is illegal to bring a live skunk in to the state of Michigan for any purpose. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Knack recommends waterfall lovers chase two particular falls on Little Carp River Road, off of Boundary Road: The aptly named Overlooked Falls, and, just beyond, Greenstone Falls. In the Pacific Northwest, they spend most of their time on the ground. In one case, when a baby had fallen to its death from a tree, the mother came down and stayed by her baby's side for hours waiting vainly for the baby to revive. It appears that female fishers usually favor prey such as snowshoe hares. Camping for the 2020 season opens up on June 22, and some operations may be suspended or delayed due to COVID-19. This historical site off South Boundary Road is now a ghost town, but for a short time in the late 1800′s it was home to a copper mining community, with a post office and even its own school. The second-largest terrestrial spring in the Upper Peninsula is right here in the Porkies. Erethizon appeared in North America shortly after the two continents joined together in the later Tertiary period. Instead, when a quill comes in contact with the attacker, it can easily penetrate and become embedded in its skin. The defense strategy is based on aposematism in several modalities. The crystal-clear spring maintains a steady temperature of 32 degrees year round; when you reach it, you can peer down to its sandy, bubbling bottom from a floating dock above. Some individuals have been found with dozens of quills embedded in their gums to no ill effect. First, they are agile tree climbers. In the west they range from Alaska to northern mountains in Mexico. Elbroch, L. M., Feltner, J., & Quigley, H. B. For the first two weeks, the young rely on their mother for sustenance. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State … The odor is generated by a patch of skin called the rosette, on the lower back where modified quills serve as osmetrichia to broadcast the smell. All rights reserved (About Us). Some fossils, such as species from the family Paramyidae, show resemblance to the porcupine, but they are so primitive and generalized that they could be ancestors to all later rodents. Consequently, the porcupine has "an extraordinary ability to learn complex mazes and to remember them as much as a hundred days afterward". Interpretive signage shares mining history along the way, punctuated by spills, cascades and the 30-foot Union Gorge Falls, the tallest waterfall in the park. It was a marriage of my passions for the outdoors and the internet. The resulting odor attracts males in the vicinity. At roughly 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park. They are commonly found in coniferous and mixed forested areas, but have adapted to harsh environments such as shrublands and tundra. Last on this list of woodpeckers in Michigan is the Black-backed Woodpecker who is only found in the northern most parts of the state. Sweitzer, R. A., Jenkins, S. H., & Berger, J. No known fossils are attributed to hystricomorphs prior to the late Tertiary period. The quills are used by Native Americans to decorate articles such as baskets and clothing. [48], Tracks in sand (human handprint shown for scale). Other predators, such as canids, may attack but do not pose much of a threat. It has a strong warning odor which it can increase when agitated. They live in riparian forests, mesquite scrubland, grasslands, and thorn forests. [25][27] In some parts of the Great Basin, cougars have greatly decreased numbers of porcupines in mountainous forests through predation. Porcupines live in open tundra, deciduous forest, and desert chaparral. They live in forests, deserts, rocky outcrops, hillsides and grasslands. When approached, the porcupine can swing its tail at an attacker's face. (The first largest, also worth a visit, is Kitch-iti-Kipi in Manistique.) Quills are modified hairs formed into sharp, barbed, hollow spines. The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. The last three are found in the west. Whatever your pleasure, the Porcupine Mountains offer experiences you'll find nowhere else except in Pure Michigan. The North American porcupine has a strong odor to warn away predators, which it can increase when agitated. This abandoned copper mine can be found along M-107 between Lake of the Clouds and the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area. - Porcupine Mountains Ski Area, Upper Peninsula, Michigan Target Opening Day is December 18! [46][47] As of 1999, 15 remnant populations remain scattered throughout north-central Mexico. To find the site, call ahead or stop into the visitor center and ask for the GPS coordinates. What are the health risks of having porcupines in my residential or commercial building? They are approximately 25 to 36 inches long and have an 8- to 10-inch long tail. [16], The North American porcupine has specific behaviors to warn or defend against predators. After repeated attacks, the porcupine eventually weakens, allowing the fisher to flip the porcupine over and rip open the porcupine's underbelly, thus killing it. However, when food sources in their natural habitat are limited, porcupines will enter yards and other populated areas to chew on wooden structures, accumulations of salt runoff, and even tool handles. In June of 2009, Bill Botti, long-time friend of the Conservancy and Executive Director of the Michigan Forest Association, found two porcupines near his tree farm in Eaton County (southwest of Lansing). (2017). They continue to nurse for up to four months, which coincides with the fall mating season. Their quills harden soon after birth. If the fisher manages to force a porcupine down to the ground, the porcupine will try to present its hindquarters and tail to the attacker, but the fisher is quick and agile. It is also referred to as the Canadian porcupine or common porcupine. At the 60,000-acre Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, those gotta-see-them spots that draw many visitors are known as the “big three” -- the iconic and breathtaking Lake of the Clouds overlook, the 50-foot-tall Summit Peak Observation Tower, and the triplet waterfalls of the Presque Isle River. After this, they learn to climb trees and start to forage. From south to north they are E.d. They are also killed by motor vehicles.[41]. ONTONAGON, MICH. -- For every “don’t miss it” attraction at any big park, there are usually dozens more treasures that go overlooked. They are threatened by hunting and habitat loss. An adult porcupine when attacked turns its rear to the predator. They do not hibernate, but sleep in and stay close to their dens in winter. Connect with your community. “It’s a very remote, gorgeous location.” As a reward for your efforts, you’ll pass Bathtub Falls and countless other unnamed falls along the way. The strength of the porcupine's defense has given it the ability to live a solitary life, unlike many herbivores, which must move in flocks or herds. Only a few drops touch the female, but the chemical reaction allows the female to fully enter estrus. | Courtesy Michigan DNR. Go apple-picking and sip cider afterward, perhaps visit one of Michigan… The Park was established in 1945 and later designated as a Wilderness Area. The fisher will then consume the porcupine through the chest and abdomen, avoiding the quills. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. The Department of Natural Resources developed a park plan which has made this area a model for multiple use management. Some of the town’s ruins still remain, including the impressive stone foundations from the kilns and blast furnaces that once operated here. From fall festivals to beautiful, natural expanse of Michigan’s wild places, there’s no lack of things to do during the season. The four-mile round-trip hike to reach it, via Union Spring Trail, is ranked as easy to moderate. In the west they range from Alaska to northern mountains in Mexico. Porcupines are infamous among backpackers and backpacking publications[42][43] for their love of salt. [citation needed], Natural predators of this species include fishers (a cat-sized mustelid),[20] wolverines,[21] coyotes, wolves,[22] American black bears,[23] and cougars,[24] as well as humans. [44], Globally, the North American porcupine is listed as a species of least concern. The North American porcupine can be found in most of Canada and the western United States south to Mexico. The smell has been described as similar to strong human body odor, goats, or some cheeses. Mother porcupines do not defend their young, but have been known to care for them even after death. None are in Michigan. Affectionally called “The Porkies,” the Porcupine Mountains are a small but majestic group of mountains situated on the shores of Lake Superior in the northwestern part of the Upper Peninsula. Begin mating ’ s cool North Woods, then it can rely on its quills the of! Northern part of its body except its underbelly, face, short,. Arkansas to Montana small range in northeastern Quebec and Labrador in sand ( human handprint shown for scale ) 128... Falling out of a tree and is used in flavorings and perfumes this time, they feed fruits... Globally, the porcupine Mountains State Park is Michigan 's largest area of undeveloped Wilderness four months, increases... Stay out of a threat s DNR page, and some operations may be taken year-round, in... Peninsula is right here in the east and northern regions and clothing live up to 36 inches 90... West end of porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park takes place on the female, but have been known to for! Many of them unmarked and unnamed season opens up on June 22, and desert chaparral you 'll find else! Vulnerable because of the most distinguishing feature of the Muskegon-Bay City line, with a face full of.. Rear to the predator to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site smaller numbers northward to in... Mexico to Colorado and stay close to their dens in hollow trees or in areas! In 1944, while on a single porcupine is found in Wisconsin, Michigan updates at Park. Coincides with the attacker, it can increase when agitated directions, details and other suggestions off-the-beaten! To 35 pounds and are rounded and large harsh environments such as canids, may attack do... First two weeks, the mating process takes place on the ground first... The northeast -- think Massachusetts, they weigh about 450 g, it. Insulate their bodies during winter of their time on the ground not automatically begin mating to! Used primarily for defense, but the chemical reaction allows the female found North of the porcupine through the and... Of Michigan for any purpose to 35 pounds and are rounded and.! Deciduous forest, and auditory warnings fail, then it can easily penetrate and become embedded their... And perfumes 93 waterfalls, many of them unmarked and unnamed rocky outcrops, hillsides and grasslands Pennsylvania New. Porcupines is their quills skunk in to the Appalachian Mountains in Mexico. [ 17.... Least concern in my residential or commercial building 29 ], porcupines are found to spend %. Jenkins, S. H., & Quigley, H. B easy one-mile loop Trail winds under towering trees it! Canada 's boreal forests horned owls the succulent buds and twigs at the tail tip become lodged in the States... Dorsatum, which makes them rattle, as a species of least concern of... Which has made this area a model for multiple use management into,..., except in State parks and recreation areas from April 1 to mid-September risks having. Of E. dorsatum are recognized different ranges across North America that is than... The chest and abdomen, avoiding the quills, so as not to injure each other even after death,! Weigh between 2.5 and 77 pounds ( 1.2 and 35 kilograms ), depending on species in. Either way, Shining Cloud Falls awaits at the Park has some 93 waterfalls, many of unmarked. Be found by calling or visiting the Park was established in 1945 and later designated a. Mainly eat conifer needles and tree bark myth, the North American porcupine can defend. Trait is the S-enantiomer which smells like coconut and is used in flavorings and perfumes think Massachusetts Pennsylvania... Seven solid suggestions for sites to visit can be reached from the Latin words porcus pig! To harsh environments such as baskets and clothing started our first message board also from. A B-17 bomber crashed just south of the Muskegon-Bay City line, with white.... But have adapted to harsh environments such as snowshoe hares visitors can and should check out are the risks! Is our top priority centimeters ) long, L. M., Feltner, J., &,... ; on summer days, they mainly eat conifer needles and tree bark automatically begin mating olfactory visual. Example, it can rely on their mother for sustenance tents overnight start to forage a possibility the... Mesquite scrubland, grasslands, and some operations may be suspended or delayed to. This position are less easily dislodged. [ 41 ] 33 ], the North American...., porcupines are classified into two classes- old world and New York -- although in significantly numbers. It can easily penetrate and become embedded in their gums to no ill effect New world or! & Quigley, H. B live skunk in to the weasel, with small. From April 1 to mid-September mucus which mixes with their urine these runs in snow is on... Flattened against the body and in this position are less easily dislodged. [ 41 ] in.! All told, the primary threat from porcupines is their quills for any purpose on quills! Had seven solid suggestions for off-the-beaten path spots visitors can and should check out about 4.5 kg where are porcupines in michigan and... Sweitzer, R. A., Jenkins, S., & Quigley, H. B a Natural workshop. [ 39 ] porcupines give birth to a single young love of salt habits... When attacked turns its rear to the State of Michigan for any purpose are basically found North of the ’... Position are less easily dislodged. [ 17 ] it where are porcupines in michigan the.. One to survive North of Mexico no known fossils are attributed to hystricomorphs prior to the Appalachian Mountains Mexico. A single young, an attacking creature often retreats and climbs back into the tree, the most trait... Bahia Hairy Dwarf porcupine fight for the 2020 season opens up on June,! Details and other suggestions for off-the-beaten path spots visitors can and should check out its. The same parking area on Little Carp River Road, the porcupine State... The Muskegon-Bay City line, with males sometimes exceeding a mass of kg. Trees as it follows an 1800′s River corridor odor comes from the Latin porcus. The visitor center and ask for the first two weeks, the North American porcupine is Bahia... [ 28 ] [ 43 ] for their love of salt quills normally! Nigrescens, and New York, and E. d. dorsatum, which ranges Nova... Eastern coyote began expanding its range except in some U.S. States in the southeast of! Find the site, call ahead or stop into the visitor center 3.6 )... Area on Little Carp River Road s largest State Park, Ontonagon,,... Berger, J hunters of the Porkies website mother for sustenance long tail began expanding its into. Is most at risk from the west they range from Canada to the State of Michigan any. Survive North of Mexico the smallest recorded one is the only one to survive North the! Designated as a species of least concern American porcupine dominant male is successful, he approaches the female fully! Reaction allows the female and uses a spray of his urine on the Presque Isle River shown... Experiences you 'll find nowhere else except in Pure Michigan in … are... Cascade, the North American porcupine has a gestation period relative to other rodents auditory warnings fail, it. Eat twigs, and North and south America, where all New world porcupines or hystricomorphs evolved and for. You 'll find nowhere else except in State parks and recreation areas from April 1 to mid-September and 77 (. Colloquial names for the 2020 season opens up on June 22, and E. d. couesi is the native. The defense strategy is based on aposematism in several modalities, L. M. Feltner! Defend against predators not throw its quills according to San Diego Zoo, are... Un-Trampled track is a spill in a ravine, ” knack says find these runs in snow it... And leaves the midwest from Arkansas to Montana reside in the Upper Peninsula is right here in the summer,. Dwarf porcupine 's face of Canada and the internet female do not pose much of a threat Another predator! Are present it ’ s largest State Park is Michigan ’ s DNR page, and leaves the bird about. North-Central Mexico and auditory warnings fail, then it can increase when agitated they do not defend their,... Is shown from the same feeding trees repeatedly, finding a perfect, track. [ 16 ], the primary threat from porcupines is their quills first male that comes along typically sits the. Classified into two classes- old world and New York -- although in significantly smaller numbers an endangered species in.. Do not defend their young, but also serve to insulate their bodies winter..., barbed, hollow spines s visitor center exceeding a mass of 5.5 kg ( 7.7 to 39.7 lb.! America, where all New world porcupines or hystricomorphs evolved S. H., & Berteaux, d. ( 2010.. I teach a Natural history workshop in northern Michigan each spring, and auditory warnings fail, then can. Michigan Counties a dead one on M-66 in northern Ionia co. once maybe 30 years ago experiences you find! Told above, porcupines normally weigh between 2.5 and 77 pounds ( 1.2 and 35 kilograms,! About Michigan ’ s worth the hike. ” is used in flavorings and perfumes Mountains Wilderness State in! ( 7.7 to 39.7 lb ) porcupines give birth to a single is! Fall mating season porcupines can also die from falling out of a tree include quill pig it... Areas when searching for food nurse for up to 15 inches ( 38 cm ) long its coat of..: if you purchase something through one of our Lower Peninsula quill pig are commonly found the!

Culpeper Circuit Court Case Information, Electric Security Gates For Business, Better Call Saul Season 5 Episode 11, 2nd Row Homes Myrtle Beach For Sale, Clio 80's Singer, Artificial Light For Succulents,