North American tree porcupine

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Animal File

Common Name:
North American tree porcupine
Scientific Name:
Erethizon dorsatum
Size: 60 - 90 cm body length
Weight: 3.5 - 18 kg (Average under 9 kg)
Mammals
Herbivores
Native to North America
Temperate Forest and Taiga
Tundra

Conservation Status

Least concern

Tree porcupines are very hard to spot, especially in summer when they sit high in the trees amongst dense foliage. They are expert climbers, helped by the pebble-like surface of their palms which gives them a very secure grip. 

Wolverines, coyotes, wolves, bears and cougars are the main predators of tree porcupines but they can live up to 17 years in the wild. They usually produce one baby a year which will be climbing quite expertly within a few weeks of being born. Here at Blackpool Zoo, we feed them on a special pelleted feed, leaf-eater diet, vegetables and dog biscuits.  

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