They are used primarily for defense, but also serve to insulate their bodies during winter. The North American porcupine has a long gestation period relative to other rodents. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. It has a strong warning odor which it can increase when agitated. 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.  Weight in adult females can average some 7 kg (15 lb) while 5 wild-caught males averaged 10.67 kg (23.5 lb). They are considered by some to be a pest because of the damage that they often inflict on trees and wooden and leather objects. Female porcupines provide all parental care.  The eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) has a gestation period of just 44 days. When porcupines are mating, they tighten their skin and hold their quills flat, so as not to injure each other. 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. Plywood is especially vulnerable because of the salts added during manufacture. So we gathered some insider tips from Michael Knack, who first fell in love with the Porkies on a backpacking trip roughly 20 years ago, and now is living the dream as the park’s supervisor. , The most distinguishing feature of the porcupine is its coat of quills. Waterfalls. They live in riparian forests, mesquite scrubland, grasslands, and thorn forests. The Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are home to boundless natural beauty, friendly resorts, awe-inspiring waterfalls, intriguing historical sites—and much more. , The North American porcupine is most at risk from the fisher (Martes pennanti). 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). At roughly 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park. A valid Michigan hunting license is required to hunt the bird. From fall festivals to beautiful, natural expanse of Michigan’s wild places, there’s no lack of things to do during the season. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. In cooler weather, a porcupine feeds on conifer needles and gnaws on bark, which can cause conflict when it chooses to dine on a property owner's favorite oak. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. They continue to nurse for up to four months, which coincides with the fall mating season. Its roots derive from the Latin words porcus or pig and spina meaning thorns. ... Do porcupines only live in Michigan? The porcupine's last line of defense is to climb a tree. In the summer months, they feed on fruits, vegetables, tender twigs, and leaves. They do not hibernate, but sleep in and stay close to their dens in winter. An adult porcupine when attacked turns its rear to the predator. They move slowly (having few threats in its natural environment which would give it the need to flee quickly) and are often hit by vehicles while crossing roads.  In many cases, injury or even death may occur in the predator from embedded porcupine quills even if they are successful in dispatching the porcupine. , During the summer, they eat twigs, roots, stems, berries, and other vegetation. The quills are used by Native Americans to decorate articles such as baskets and clothing. Whatever your pleasure, the Porcupine Mountains offer experiences you'll find nowhere else except in Pure Michigan. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. Founded in 1999, Michigan-Sportsman.com started as a collection of links to Michigan related sites, and a series of manually edited blogs. Both can be reached from the same parking area on Little Carp River Road. Hiking. The Porcupine Mountains State Park is Michigan's largest area of undeveloped wilderness. They stay close to their mothers. 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. (2017). Knack billed this Big Carp River beauty as worth pursing “if someone wants to go for a really long hike.” If that someone is you, know that you can take two routes to get there, choosing to trek either 5.5 miles or roughly eight miles. Quills are modified hairs formed into sharp, barbed, hollow spines. Downhill and Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobile, Snowshoe, backpack, camp at Lake Superior,in Michigans Upper Peninsula, near Ontonagon Michigan , Porcupines are nearsighted and slow-moving. 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. Porcupines tend to use the same feeding trees repeatedly, which makes their presence quite obvious. More specifically, for eating road salt-covered boots left outside of tents overnight. Other hystricomorphs also migrated, but Erethizon was the only one to survive north of Mexico. Camping for the 2020 season opens up on June 22, and some operations may be suspended or delayed due to COVID-19. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Ontonagon, Michigan. In the United States, they roam throughout both western and northern regions. 6. View of Lake Superior from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Disease Concerns: Sarcoptic Mange. 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. These yellowish-brown creatures also reside in the northeast -- think Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York -- although in significantly smaller numbers. Alaska is also home to a sizable North American porcupine population. 5. "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. It can climb trees, so its favorite method is to position itself below the porcupine and knock it to the ground, where it is quickly dispatched. Mabille, G., Descamps, S., & Berteaux, D. (2010). , Porcupines are usually dark brown or black in color, with white highlights. Their quills harden soon after birth. Porcupines are plant eaters. Learn more and find updates at the park’s DNR page, Facebook page, and the Friends of the Porkies website. Now it's porcupines. Sweitzer, R. A., Jenkins, S. H., & Berger, J. | Courtesy Michigan DNR. Instead, when a quill comes in contact with the attacker, it can easily penetrate and become embedded in its skin. The smallest recorded one is the Bahia Hairy Dwarf Porcupine. , Globally, the North American porcupine is listed as a species of least concern. All rights reserved (About Us). This abandoned copper mine can be found along M-107 between Lake of the Clouds and the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area. The porcupine is found in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Only a few drops touch the female, but the chemical reaction allows the female to fully enter estrus. Mating may occur repeatedly until the female loses interest and climbs back into the tree. The female's pregnancy lasts for 202 days. Elbroch, L. M., Feltner, J., & Quigley, H. B. It appears that female fishers usually favor prey such as snowshoe hares. I have even seen a dead one on M-66 in northern Ionia co. once maybe 30 years ago. They come in different shades: gray, brown and the unusual white.  As of 1999, 15 remnant populations remain scattered throughout north-central Mexico. Zielinski, W. J., Duncan, N. P., Farmer, E. C., Truex, R. L., Clevenger, A. P., & Barrett, R. H. (1999). If another male approaches, he may fight for the right to mate. In the Pacific Northwest, they spend most of their time on the ground.
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