Porcupines

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teague
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Joined: Jan 16 2015 11:47 am
City, State: Tucson

Porcupines

Post by teague »

Hi all,

I am a biologist living in Tucson, and, like other biologists down here, have become concerned about the status of porcupines in southern Arizona. I recently contacted a lot of professionals in the area asking for recent porcupine sightings, but the majority of the sightings are from the late 1990's. So, I am now reaching out to the Arizona Trail community, with the hope that with all of the mileage and areas you all have banked, more recent sightings can be confirmed in southern Arizona. If anybody has seen one, could you please respond with locality information and a date? I did a search before posting, and saw the other porcupine thread; I'm hoping to get more responses here.

Thanks,

Teague Embrey
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chumley
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City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Porcupines

Post by chumley »

Hi Teague-

Porcupines are fascinating animals.

For reference in case others are interested, here is the other thread you were talking about.
And all the photos of porcupines tagged here on HAZ. Only 3 of which are Arizona photos.

:welcome:
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blisterfree
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Re: Porcupines

Post by blisterfree »

teague wrote:with all of the mileage and areas you all have banked, more recent sightings can be confirmed in southern Arizona.
Never, not once, and now it surprises me that I haven't given the matter more consideration. In fact I've never encountered a porcupine in the wild anywhere on any of the long trails around the country in 20,000 miles of walking dating back to the mid-90's. Could it be that hikers and porcupines just aren't very likely to cross paths?
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teague
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Re: Porcupines

Post by teague »

Here are some resources if folks are interested in learning more:

http://www.nps.gov/sagu/naturescience/u ... _Final.pdf

( 2018-08-28 dead link removed )

https://kxci.org/2014/01/disappearing-porcupines/
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Porcupines

Post by outdoor_lover »

@chumley
@teague
I just looked at the Label...We have more Photos from the Pinals I think...They must not have gotten Labeled...

If anyone has Porcupine Photos that were never labeled, if you would please go back through and Label them or send me the Link, and I will do it....

Teague, I will also send you a PM for possibly another Resource for you.... :)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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Sredfield
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Re: Porcupines

Post by Sredfield »

I have seen one or two at Hart Prairie, near Flagstaff. Also heard an interesting theory that the demise (through hunting) of porcupines heavily contributes to the over forestation of the ponderosa pine country. The critters eat young pine trees, when there are fewer porcupines there are more pine trees.

Could the forest health issue be that simple?
Shawn
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The_Eagle
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Re: Porcupines

Post by The_Eagle »

@Outdoor Lover
Just labeled 1 (North Rim) and saw one more, also on the North Rim (Deceased in an old cabin).
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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chumley
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Re: Porcupines

Post by chumley »

The only report from southern Arizona is an unconfirmed possiblity that RedRoxx wrote about on the east side of the Catalinas 3/24/13: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=87277
A few others have been spotted elsewhere around the state:
Preston saw one on the Mogollon Rim Memorial Day 2013: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=90185
Azbackpackr saw on along the upper LCR near Springerville the same weekend: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=89847
Preston saw a dead one summer 2012 on Mingus Mtn: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=86799
Gummo saw one in 2012, but he didn't say where.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Porcupines

Post by azbackpackr »

You said southern Arizona, but I have only seen them in far eastern Arizona, in grasslands habitat. One was at Lyman Lake State Park in 2000. The other one was crossing Highway 180 between Holbrook and St. Johns, about 2 or 3 years ago. I can't remember where I've seen others, or if I have, but not in southern Arizona. I have a photo somewhere on my computer of the one on 180. I walked right up to it. Same with the one at Lyman Lake.

Oh, here is the one on 180. It was near a place called Zuni Heaven, a patch of land owned but not occupied by the Zuni tribe. It was in 2012.
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CannondaleKid
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Re: Porcupines

Post by CannondaleKid »

I've seen two in AZ since 2002... unfortunately I didn't get a photo of either one. And even worse (at least in my book), I can only remember where saw the one on the Fred Haught Trail. Seems to me the other one was somewhere closer to Phoenix.
Yup, I know, not much help... :whistle:
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Porcupines

Post by outdoor_lover »

@chumley
How are you Finding those Triplogs? :o
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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The_Eagle
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Re: Porcupines

Post by The_Eagle »

@Outdoor Lover
He has a memory like a, er, ah, um....
well you know...
one of those things with a good memory.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: Porcupines

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

Zero for the Superstitions that I hiked, backpacked, guided and served in for many years.
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
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gummo
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Re: Porcupines

Post by gummo »

chumley wrote:The only report from southern Arizona is an unconfirmed possiblity that RedRoxx wrote about on the east side of the Catalinas 3/24/13: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=87277
A few others have been spotted elsewhere around the state:
Preston saw one on the Mogollon Rim Memorial Day 2013: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=90185
Azbackpackr saw on along the upper LCR near Springerville the same weekend: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=89847
Preston saw a dead one summer 2012 on Mingus Mtn: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=86799
Gummo saw one in 2012, but he didn't say where.
The only porcupines that I've seen were in NY and PA. I've never seen one in AZ. I figured that porcupines are subject to forest fires because they cannot escape the fire. Since it's been so dry these past years and fires were more common, I don't think porcupines would be fairing as well as they would. They never really did bounce back after the loggers started exterminating them in the 1900s. :(
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Dschur
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Re: Porcupines

Post by Dschur »

Seen two on the North Rim both on the highway not far from Jacob lake... one dead and the other I chased off the road...both in the past 6 yrs or so..
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azbackpackr
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Re: Porcupines

Post by azbackpackr »

chumley wrote:The only report from southern Arizona is an unconfirmed possiblity that RedRoxx wrote about on the east side of the Catalinas 3/24/13: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=87277
A few others have been spotted elsewhere around the state:
Preston saw one on the Mogollon Rim Memorial Day 2013: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=90185
Azbackpackr saw on along the upper LCR near Springerville the same weekend: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=89847
Preston saw a dead one summer 2012 on Mingus Mtn: http://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=86799
Gummo saw one in 2012, but he didn't say where.
I had to read the triplog to try to jog my memory. So that means I have seen at least 3 of them in eastern Arizona.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
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Tortoise_Hiker
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Re: Porcupines

Post by Tortoise_Hiker »

I was talking to my buddy that lives between ShowLow and Concho. He said in 2014 he has seen four dead Porcupines on highwaY 161 between ShowLow and Concho and all above the Y Junction to Concho.
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teague
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Re: Porcupines

Post by teague »

Hey all,

Thanks for all the replies, some good information here. Combined with the information I have gathered here and elsewhere, it seems that there are still porcupines in southern Arizona but in low numbers. If I find any in my searching, I'll be sure to let you know.
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outdoor_lover
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Re: Porcupines

Post by outdoor_lover »

Finally saw my First Wild Porcupine in AZ...Unfortunately it was Deceased on the side of Highway 60 between Springerville and Show Low....Although Liz has seen them in this General Area, it really surprises me that they are here since it's literally just Juniper Grasslands and little else...I wouldn't have thought Juniper was on their Diet....
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johnny88
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Re: Porcupines

Post by johnny88 »

Do they salt the roads in that area? It may draw the porcupines.

I've only seen one porcupine in AZ. It was in Bear Canyon a couple months ago. I would have walked right by it if not for my dog noticing it (glad she was leashed).
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