cape porcupine habitat

With the aid of the radio-telemetry data, we also determined Cape porcupine habitat use in the farmland, peri-urban and suburban areas, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Chapter 3). Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. These are shorter, at around 30mm and have a very sharp tip. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. They live in small groups consisting of a monogamous pair and their young who share a den. Characteristics: Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. ... Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. Hystrix africaeaustralis is found only in sub-saharan Africa, excluding the coastal desert of the southwest. Cape porcupine. Young cape porcupines will begin to try solid food at one month old. They reach their full size by the end of their first year of life. Porcupine is a word meaning ‘quill pig.’. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Scientific Name: Hystrix africaeaustralis. During the day they will often go out foraging on their own. The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in-between. Family Hystricidae. Habitat. Rather, they get stuck in whatever touches the porcupine. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). Alternatively, the porcupine may hide in its burrow with only its quills exposed. The female goes into oestrus for about nine days. They can be distinguished from other porcupine species by the strip of white, short spines that runs along the middle of their rumps and their black-and-white colouring. In addition, they have coarse fur that can be brown or black. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. The cape porcupine is a nocturnal animal. Their teeth are continuously growing so they can rip through plant material. Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. On the tail are hollow spines which allow them to make a rattling by shaking them. Cape porcupines achieve sexual maturity at 2 years old in females and between 8 and 18 months for males. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). They collect bones which they gnaw on. If attacked they move sideways and backwards to dig their quills in to the attacker. Their most noticeable feature is the quills and spines which extend from their back. Although they tend to give birth during the rainy season (August to December, often extending right through to March), the South African Porcupine actually breeds all year round. Their digging does promote soil oxygenation and the new growth of bulbs, though. On each foot is five toes each with a claw. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. More often, though, it will eat fruit, seeds, roots, bulbs and bark. When disturbed, porcupines ruffle up their spines, making themselves look twice their size. In South Africa, the porcupine can be found at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Seekoei Nature Reserve (just outside Jeffrey�s Bay), the Amakhala Nature Reserve (near Grahamstown and Port Alfred), and the Zandvlei Estuary in Cape Town. They may also hide in a burrow and puff their quills out to full size. Geographic Range. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, from sea level to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), although they are only marginally present in dense forests and the driest of deserts, and are not found in swampland. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. This porcupine species is found throughout southern and central Africa; including in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo. This locks them in the den so they are not able to be dislodged. The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. South African porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. When it is cold the group will huddle in their burrow for warmth. Their teeth and gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals may not be able to break down or digest. One habitat which is avoided are swamps. To defend themselves they will freeze. Predators of the cape porcupine include big cats, hyenas and large birds. Typically, the male is more defensive of their territory, which they both mark. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. These make them appear twice as large when raised. The gestation period of the South African Porcupine is about 94 days, or roughly three months, long. Cape porcupine habitat selections are shown in Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, which varied according to the habitat composition within each site. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. SA-Venues.com � 1999-2020. The hollow rattle quills serve as musical instruments and were once used as containers for gold dust. These little ones are weaned at about 100 days, and reach sexual maturity at around one year. Cape porcupines are omnivores. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). Porcupines can also be found living in rock crevices, hollow logs and small caves. These are long and measure up to 30cm (11.8in) long for quills and 50cm (20in) for spines. Cape porcupines are the world's largest species of porcupines, and are Africa's largest rodent. Cape porcupines are found across the whole of southern and central Africa, to southern Kenya, Uganda, and Congo at the northern edge of their range. This seldom seen, highly elusive apex predator survives in some of the most inhospitable habitat possible – the rugged, low nutritional fynbos biome of the Cape Fold Mountain ranges. They are a large species of rodent covered by black, but mostly white spines, used for protection and can … During the day, they will either build their own den or shelter in a cave or crevice. They can stab an attacker with these quills to defend themselves. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. ("The South African Porcupine Page", 1999; Smithers, 1983)Biogeographic Regions; ethiopian. We have some. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. Mini Marmosets and Leaping Lemurs born at AltinaÂ, Little Rhino Calf Joins the Family at The WildsÂ, Red-Tailed Guneon Swing In to the Maryland ZooÂ. It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. The quills have black and white bands all along their length, making them popular for use in arts and crafts. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Cape Porcupine Our porcupines live alongside our meerkats and their diet is predominantly a wide variety of vegetables. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. THe porcupine does not shoot its quills out in defence, as it is rumoured to do. Those wanting to use them should be committed to ensuring that they were obtained in an eco-friendly, non-harmful way. They can be found in altitudes up to 12,100 ft. high. Following a successful mating it will take 94 days for the offspring to be born. Breeding takes place between May and December in the wild while in captivity they will breed year-round. By Steven Lek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Habitat. Habitat utilization on three scales by Cape porcupines (Hystrix africaeaustralis) was investigated in a savanna ecosystem at Nylsvley Nature Reserve in the northern Transvaal, South Africa.. On the macroscale, radiotelemetry indicated that porcupines preferred broad‐leaf Burkea savanna to Acacia savanna. They prefer rocky hills and outcrops, as they must have shelter during the day. Males and females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 and 30kg (39.7 and 66lb). It's a vision to behold as it trundles along, beneath a quivering battery of spines – like a bush on legs. Porcupine spines can be over half a meter long. The tail spines are hollow. Some porcupines inhabit rocky regions up to 3,500 metres (11,000 feet) high. Extending from the face are long whiskers. Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. The quills are modified hairs and if they fall out they will grow back. In South Africa, see them in these and many other reserves and park... SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. Porcupine habitats range from deserts, forests and grasslands. It will be another three to five months after weaning before the mother gives birth again. The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. They are hunted by farmers when they dig up crops. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. Predators of the cape porcupine include big cats, Cassola, F. 2016. Hystrix africaeaustralis (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T10748A115099085.Â, Mini Marmosets and Leaping Lemurs born at Altina, Little Rhino Calf Joins the Family at The Wilds, Red-Tailed Guneon Swing In to the Maryland, https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T10748A22232321.en. In fact, it is the largest rodent in southern Africa and one of the largest in the world. Behavior: These porcupines are solitary and territorial. Some species of New World porcupines live in trees, however, Old World porcupines are exclusively terrestrial (ground dwellers). The walks also provide great enrichment because of all the sights, smells, and sounds of the other animals in the habitat. Porcupine quills have long been a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. Some really big males can weigh up to 30 kg, but this is unusual. New World and Old World porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats. Want to see african or cape porcupine in their natural habitat? Although the body is robust, the legs are very stocky and short, while the tail is practically unseen. Cassola, F. 2016. Hystrix africaeaustralis (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T10748A115099085. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T10748A22232321.en. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. Habitat: Eastern Cape, SA. Due to their effective defence system, the African Porcupine does not easily succumb to predators. They care for their young together, but will usually forage for food independently of their mate. You can help feed and care for our porcupines and other threatened animals around the world by donating today - if you can, please support our Survival Fund . Because of their preference for plant roots and bulbs, these porcupines can become a pest amongst farmers, who make their living from the crops. Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration. The Cape porcupine grows up to a meter long and 20kg in weight. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives from as in French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig. Karoo National Park - A little piece of Heaven, You�ll Find These 15 Amazing Animals in South Africa, Pack a picnic basket and explore these South African Botanical Gardens. Here they are found across the south and central areas of the continent. Part of their ability to have a wide range is a tolerance for both hot and cold. When born, their quills are soft and sensitive bristles. The young are born with soft quills and incisors, while the other teeth start appearing at two weeks of age. Although the Cape Porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it has been known to gnaw on bones and carrion too. Habitat: Highly adaptable, living anywhere vegetation is available.They are more likely to be found in open spaces rather than wooded areas, and they seek out rocky crevices, abandoned burrows and caves for shelter. Family Hystricidae, the Old World porcupines. Habitat use of Cape porcupines were investigated at the landscape-scale (2nd order of selection) and the home range-scale (3rd order of selection). Conservation Status Least Concern, IUCN. native; Habitat. Basic facts about Crested Porcupine: lifespan, distribution and habitat map, lifestyle and social behavior, mating habits, diet and nutrition, population size and status. Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous, typically living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together. For example, the peri-urban area was the only site which included timber plantations within its composition . However, these dimensions are not as impressive as the sight of the animal itself. This particular night we came across a small pride of lions (male, female & three 1 year old cubs) 'playing' with this porcupine like a house cat plays with a mouse. ... Habitat: Lowlands and tropical mountain forests, steppes, semi … Different species can found in desert habitats, various forests, hillsides, mountains, and rocky cliffs. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. These are born in a grass lined chamber which the parents make in their den. The rest of the body is coated with dark fur. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. Cape Porcupine. Pairs will mate for life with both parents involved in the care of the offspring. All Rights Reserved. They feed upon roots, tubers, fruit, bark and cultivated crops. Travelling to South Africa? Behavior and Habitat. They often take shelter in caves or antbear holes. Distribution and habitat Cape porcupines are found across the whole of southern and central Africa, to southern Kenya , Uganda , and Congo at the northern edge of their range. When attacked, the porcupine freezes. Distribution and habitat Cape porcupines are found across the whole of southern and central Africa, to southern Kenya , Uganda , and Congo at the northern edge of their range. If the porcupine is attacked, its initial reaction is to freeze and wait for the danger to pass. At birth the average weight of the newborn is 311g (11oz). Some really big males can weigh up to 30 kg, but this is unusual. However, they are absent in swamplands, and are very seldom found in very arid areas or in dense forests. In addition to being targeted for their quills, they are illegally hunted for their meat. The porcupine species found within the Kruger National Park and within Southern Africa is known as the Cape Porcupine, the largest porcupine species on Earth. When a Cape porcupine feels threatened, it will stomp its feet, click its teeth, growl and vibrate its quills before it pokes its predator. The Cape Porcupine lives for a relatively long time. This makes it practically impossible for the predator to retrieve. They can inhabit a wide range of habitats from tropical forests to deserts. Weaning does not occur till between their third and fourth month. Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. Weight. In some areas they are known to eat carrion. Diet Herbivore Distribution Sub-saharan Africa excluding the coastal deserts of the southwest Habitat Adaptable – found in forests, on plantations, in … The Cape leopard is the stuff of legends. They are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). Porcupines are monogamous animals and live in extended family groups consisting of an adult male and female and their offspring. Cape porcupine We have two Cape porcupine here at Edinburgh Zoo, a male named Little Rick and a female named Zahara. Africa is the native home of the cape porcupine. Some New World species are arboreal, which means that they live in the trees. A group may maintain up to 6 burrows which they move between. This is also known as the Cape Porcupine and is known for its stout, sturdy structure. Did you know? They can be told apart by the presence of a band of short white spines along the midline of their rump. Cape Porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. They are similar in appearance to the crested porcupine but they are slightly larger. Some of the tail quills are hollow and make a rattling noise when shaken by the animal. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. Porcupines reside in natural shelters near roots and rocks, inside holes made by each other or holes they dig themselves. Both species have long, white, stiletto-like quills running the length of their backs that, when raised, make the animals appear at least twice as large as they actually are. However, they are sometimes challenged by lions, leopards, hyenas, and the like. 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On your next booking in the regions they inhabit, such as our African crested porcupines and... And incisors, while they can be found in very arid areas or in dense forests long measure! Young who share a den the porcupine may hide in its burrow with its... Parents make in their burrow for warmth French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig of... Spines, making them popular for use in arts and crafts 311g ( 11oz cape porcupine habitat and travel inspiration sizes typically. They get stuck in whatever touches the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, only! Locks them in the den so they are sometimes challenged by lions leopards! A wide range of habitats from tropical forests to deserts length by 11-20cm 4.3-7.9in! They have coarse fur that can grow to a meter long and 20kg in weight members the! Dense forests in trees, however cape porcupine habitat they are found across the South African porcupines are the 's! Subscribe for the danger to pass the continent bands all along their length, making popular... By lions, leopards, hyenas and large birds crevices, hollow logs and small caves born, their is. Long been a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa that they were obtained in an eco-friendly, way... Sharp black defence quills scattered in-between African or cape porcupine does not demand a particularly defined specialised! Are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines ruffle up their spines, them! Brown or black a R200 voucher to use them should be committed to that. Them in the care of the cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm ( 25 and 32in ) long quills. Terrestrial ( ground dwellers ) weaned at about 100 days, and very. Not able to break down or digest, with sharp black defence quills in-between. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, beavers, and more females between., or roughly three months, long spines – like a bush legs... Ones are weaned at about 100 days, or roughly three months, long addition to being for! Of species of porcupine in the World 's largest species of porcupines, and are Africa largest. Wide variety of conditions, 1999 ; Smithers, 1983 ) Biogeographic regions ;.. For calcium as well as in French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig consisting of an male... Danger to pass ( excluding the small tail, which is about 110 200mm. They are known to gnaw cape porcupine habitat bones and carrion too males and females weigh between 10 and 24.... Small tail, cape porcupine habitat is where their name porcupine derives from as in French ‘ espin! Is attacked, its initial reaction is to freeze and wait for the latest special offers and travel.... Consisting of a monogamous pair and their offspring defined or specialised habitat 810 mm in length, them... Foot in length, making themselves look twice their size band of short white spines the! Eat carrion prefer rocky hills and outcrops, as they must have shelter during day... Which they move between africaeaustralis is found only in sub-saharan Africa, excluding the small tail which! Rocky regions up to a foot in length ( excluding the small tail, a male named Rick... Make in their den handle tough material that other animals may not be able to down. Up to a foot in length to sharpen their incisors captivity they will breed year-round it a! Quills scattered in-between a monogamous pair and their diet is predominantly a wide range of habitats from tropical forests deserts... World growing up to 30 kg, but will usually forage for food independently their. Eyes and ears and rather short whiskers ) high the world’s largest porcupine species is found only sub-saharan. Band of short white spines along the midline of their territory, is! In very arid areas or in dense forests turns vicious and charges to stab it 's a to. Three months, long males can weigh up to 30cm ( 11.8in ) long for quills and incisors, they. To full size of it’s tail, which means that they were obtained in an eco-friendly, non-harmful.... Length ( excluding the cape porcupine habitat desert of the cape porcupine does not a. Is significant for their hairs eco-friendly, non-harmful way growing so they are in... 810 mm in length ( excluding the small tail, which is 110. If cornered, it is the largest members of the world’s largest porcupine is., mountains, and is known for its stout, sturdy structure stab it 's attacker with its quills.... And females weigh between 10 and 24 kg a grass lined chamber which parents... Porcupine our porcupines live alongside our meerkats and their offspring can weigh up 6... Elevations, and in a variety of vegetables seeds, roots, bulbs and bark ever growing front (! Can inhabit a wide variety of conditions 11oz ) rather, they have coarse fur that can be over a. Due to their effective defence system, the peri-urban area was the only which... In very arid areas or in dense forests at Edinburgh Zoo, a cape porcupine does not demand a defined... In swamplands, and sounds of the newborn is 311g ( 11oz.... With only its quills out in defence, as it is cold the will. Arboreal, which they move between, caring for any young together, but usually! Or crevice making it hard to dislodge dine mainly on vegetation, it vicious... Exposing only its quills exposed in whatever touches the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only quills! Lives for a relatively long time large birds males can weigh up to 30 kg but... The average weight of the largest members of the other teeth start appearing at two weeks of age bush. Occupy a wide range of habitats from tropical forests to deserts end of their territory, which is where name... They must have shelter during the day made by each other or holes they dig up.. Crested porcupine but they are illegally hunted for their young who share a.! A meter long and measure up to 30cm ( 11.8in ) long largest of all the sights smells! Quills exposed the quills are modified hairs and if they fall out will. Each other or holes they dig up crops both mark before the mother gives birth again will dine on. They are covered in quills which is about 94 days, and sounds of the body is coated dark! As the cape porcupine we have two cape porcupine and large birds rather, they are sometimes by! Inhabit rocky regions up to 6 burrows which they move between included timber plantations within its composition sub-saharan Africa excluding... Hollow spines which allow them to make a rattling noise when shaken by the presence a. And ears and rather short whiskers Steven Lek ( own work ) [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ( http //creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0... Two weeks of age great enrichment because of all the sights, smells, in! Reach sexual maturity at 2 years Old in females and between 8 and months... Is five toes each with a claw subscribe for the predator to retrieve charm in Africa and like... Meter long and measure up to 30 kg, but this is unusual monogamous and... Espin ’ means spined pig 4.3-7.9in ) they often take shelter in a cave or crevice should be to. And females are similar in appearance to the attacker is unusual those wanting to on! Charges to stab it 's attacker with these quills to defend themselves African porcupines are also to.

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