Porcupine Facts

PorcupinePhoto by Marianne Van Antwerp

Porcupine Facts

PorcupineWhat does a porcupine look like?
  • Mostly brown, especially around the face and feet. Its back often appears lighter in color, ranging from tan to white. They have short, strong legs.
  • They have self-sharpening orange incisors that they use to chew on wood.
  • They are covered with long, thin quills except for on their faces, hands, feet and underside.
How big are they?
  • Adults average 9-13 pounds.
Where do they live?
  • Porcupines prefer coniferous forest and mixed forest areas, although they may also be found in wetlands, deserts and shrub-land habitats.
What do they eat?
  • Porcupines feed on nearly all species of trees in their range. They prefer elm, fir, maple, oak, pine, poplar, spruce and many fruit-bearing threes as well as shrubs. They will eat the bark, berries, buds, fruits, and leaves. They also will eat grasses, dandelions and plants that live near streams and wetlands.
What eats them?

·        Predators include coyotes, cougars and bobcats.

Did you know?


  • Porcupines do not hibernate and are mainly nocturnal, coming out at night. They are excellent climbers and spend much of their lives in trees.
  • Their quills are loosely attached to the body and may detach easily when they come in contact with a predator. Despite popular belief, they are not able to “shoot” their quills.
Threats to porcupine:
  • Habitat loss, primarily deforestation.