Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Cara L. Appel; Bill Zielinski; Fredrick V Schlexer; Richard Callas; William T. Bean
    Date: 2017
    Source: Western Wildlife
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.0 MB)

    Description

    The North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is one of the most widely distributed mammals in North America, but recent reports have suggested declines in parts of its range in the West. In California, little is known about the historical or current status of the porcupine, and maps of its distribution conflict considerably. Nevertheless, the species is of interest to natural resource managers. For much of the 1900s, foresters and others primarily treated porcupines as pests because of the undesirable damage they inflict feeding on trees and gnawing on manmade items in search of salt. More recently, porcupines have been recognized for their role in promoting forest structure and diversity, and as potential prey for the Fisher (Pekania pennanti). We collected records of porcupine occurrence in the northern part of California since the beginning of the 20th Century, relying on government and private databases, reports from the public, and other sources. These records confirm that porcupines may occur in most major regions and habitat types across northern California, in contrast to many published range maps. The contemporary distribution of porcupines in the state most closely resembles the California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System (CWHR) range map, which is based on projections of suitable habitat. We are unable to offer deeper insight into trends of abundance and possible changes in distribution because these records are likely spatiotemporally correlated with observer effort. This work is a first step and we recommend that a broader statewide effort be conducted to better understand the distribution, abundance, and ecology of North American Porcupines in California.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to psw_communications@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Appel, Cara L.; Zielinski, William J.; Schlexer, Fredrick V.; Callas, Richard; Bean, William T. 2017. Distribution of the North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) in northern California. Western Wildlife. 4: 17–28.

    Keywords

    citizen science, generalist, herbivore, historical, mammals, observations, range map

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/54480