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Common Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum

Track Distinctive; toe in, almost like a Badger's; pebbled knobs on soles leave stippled impression; long claw mark far ahead of oval main prints. Foreprint, including claw marks, about 2 1/2" (65 mm) long; hindprint well over 3" (75 mm) long, usually but not always printing ahead of foreprint. Stride is short and waddling, with prints 56" (125150 mm) apart; straddle up to 9" (230 mm) wide. In snow, feet may drag or shuffle, connecting prints. Trail occasionally blurred, as if swept by a small broom, as belly brushes ground and stiff, heavy tail swishes from side to side in waddling walk.

Sign Large, irregular patches of bark stripped from tree trunks and limbs with neatly gnawed edges, plentiful tooth marks; "niptwigs" often strewn on the ground.
Scat: Similar to that of deer, but the pellets vary greatly in size and appearance, depending on food and season. In winter, rough-surfaced irregular pellets, sometimes connected when food is relatively soft; in summer, pellets softer, more elongate, often curved, sometimes segmented. Accumulations found at entrances to crevice shelter or cave among rocks and, in winter, at base of single tree where porcupine has fed for a long time.

 

 

 

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