Part of their ability to have a wide range is a tolerance for both hot and cold. Africa is the native home of the cape porcupine. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). By Steven Lek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Males and females are similar in size. To defend themselves they will freeze. Notes: Not a great photo but my only recognizable shot from the amazing night 'anti-poaching' patrol drives I was privileged to be a part of. A litter can range from 1 to 4 offspring. If attacked they move sideways and backwards to dig their quills in to the attacker. Males and females are similar sizes, … Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. The porcupine does not shoot its quills at predators; rather, it sheds them on impact so that they become imbedded in an attacker. Diet Herbivore Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. 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. 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. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. If cornered, it turns vicious and charges to stab it's attacker with its quills. They can be found in altitudes up to 12,100 ft. high. When disturbed, porcupines ruffle up their spines, making themselves look twice their size. Different species can found in desert habitats, various forests, hillsides, mountains, and rocky cliffs. 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). Porcupines are monogamous animals and live in extended family groups consisting of an adult male and female and their offspring. One habitat which is avoided are swamps. With cape porcupine inclusive all porcupines have lined quills which is significant for their hairs. They also build dens which can … The Cape Porcupine is a monogamous animal and will usually live with its mate, defending its territory (which can consist of around six different burrows) together. They are a large species of rodent covered by black, but mostly white spines, used for protection and can … These are shorter, at around 30mm and have a very sharp tip. Basic facts about Crested Porcupine: lifespan, distribution and habitat map, lifestyle and social behavior, mating habits, diet and nutrition, population size and status. 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. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. Its proportions are not as attractive as its animal itself. Their teeth are continuously growing so they can rip through plant material. However, these dimensions are not as impressive as the sight of the animal itself. ... Cape porcupines are also known to gnaw on bones for calcium as well as in order to sharpen their incisors. In fact, it is the largest rodent in southern Africa and one of the largest in the world. Rather, they get stuck in whatever touches the porcupine. Weight. Here they are found across the south and central areas of the continent. During the day they will often go out foraging on their own. This makes it practically impossible for the predator to retrieve. Porcupine is a word meaning ‘quill pig.’. A group may maintain up to 6 burrows which they move between. The rest of the body is coated with dark fur. Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration. THe porcupine does not shoot its quills out in defence, as it is rumoured to do. Their most noticeable feature is the quills and spines which extend from their back. 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. Cape Porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. In the wild, their lifespan is about a decade, while they can live for double that period in captivity. These harden as they grow. More often, though, it will eat fruit, seeds, roots, bulbs and bark. 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. 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. Family Hystricidae. The walks also provide great enrichment because of all the sights, smells, and sounds of the other animals in the habitat. They often take shelter in caves or antbear holes. Cape porcupine. Geographic Range. 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. 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. Rodents are mammals including rats, mice, porcupines, beavers, and more. The African porcupine is the largest rodent in the regions they inhabit. Both sexes are about 84 cm in length. Otherwise, the porcupine may retreat into its burrow, exposing only its quills and making it hard to dislodge. In addition, they have coarse fur that can be brown or black. The quills are modified hairs and if they fall out they will grow back. Conservation Status Least Concern, IUCN. 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. We have some. Those wanting to use them should be committed to ensuring that they were obtained in an eco-friendly, non-harmful way. She will give birth to one litter per year (unless a previous litter was lost), which comprises of one to three babies (although about half of the births are of only one baby). The Cape Porcupine is the largest species of porcupine in the world growing up to 90cm long. Cape porcupines are the world's largest species of porcupines, and are Africa's largest rodent. Some really big males can weigh up to 30 kg, but this is unusual. Porcupine habitats range from deserts, forests and grasslands. Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. Cape Porcupine. 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. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. Alternatively, the porcupine may hide in its burrow with only its quills exposed. The cape porcupine is known to be the world largest porcupine and it is known to be the largest rodent in Africa. The female goes into oestrus for about nine days. The tail spines are hollow. They can be told apart by the presence of a band of short white spines along the midline of their rump. The African cape porcupine is one of the largest members of the rodent family. Some New World species are arboreal, which means that they live in the trees. They may also hide in a burrow and puff their quills out to full size. These are born in a grass lined chamber which the parents make in their den. 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. Both males and females weigh between 10 and 24 kg. This is also known as the Cape Porcupine and is known for its stout, sturdy structure. Some of the tail quills are hollow and make a rattling noise when shaken by the animal. Scientific Name: Hystrix africaeaustralis. Travelling to South Africa? New World and Old World porcupines occupy a wide range of habitats. Characteristics: Cape porcupines are one of the world’s largest porcupine species. The gestation period of the South African Porcupine is about 94 days, or roughly three months, long. In some areas they are known to eat carrion. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. However, if it feels that it needs to take action, it will charge the attacker with its quills erect, making it look a lot bigger and more vicious than in its usual state. They collect bones which they gnaw on. In addition, they can use carrion on occasion. On the tail are hollow spines which allow them to make a rattling by shaking them. Cape Porcupine Our porcupines live alongside our meerkats and their diet is predominantly a wide variety of vegetables. Cape porcupines are omnivores. Family Hystricidae, the Old World porcupines. These little ones are weaned at about 100 days, and reach sexual maturity at around one year. Habitat. The cape porcupine is a nocturnal animal. They feed upon roots, tubers, fruit, bark and cultivated crops. Rodents, such as our African crested porcupines, have ever growing front teeth (called incisors). There are no currently recognised subspecies. Habitat: Eastern Cape, SA. They can inhabit a wide range of habitats from tropical forests to deserts. 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. Young cape porcupines will begin to try solid food at one month old. The South African Porcupine has small eyes and ears and rather short whiskers. We make it easy for you to plan your trip online. The Cape porcupine is the largest porcupine in the world, alongside the nearly identical African crested porcupine. Porcupine or Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) Order Rodentia. During the day, they will either build their own den or shelter in a cave or crevice. They are similar in appearance to the crested porcupine but they are slightly larger. 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. Porcupines reside in natural shelters near roots and rocks, inside holes made by each other or holes they dig themselves. The quills have black and white bands all along their length, making them popular for use in arts and crafts. When attacked, the porcupine freezes. Porcupine quills have long been a favorite ornament and good-luck charm in Africa. The hollow rattle quills serve as musical instruments and were once used as containers for gold dust. The Cape Porcupine does not demand a particularly defined or specialised habitat. This porcupine species is nocturnal. Appearance Female porcupines are about one kilogram heavier than males, weighing 10-24 kg and males with a mass of 10-19 kg. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). When it is cold the group will huddle in their burrow for warmth. The spines covering the body measure about 50mm in length, with sharp black defence quills scattered in-between. These make them appear twice as large when raised. Although the Cape Porcupine will dine mainly on vegetation, it has been known to gnaw on bones and carrion too. Behavior: These porcupines are solitary and territorial. Their tail increases this length by 11-20cm (4.3-7.9in). The young are born with soft quills and incisors, while the other teeth start appearing at two weeks of age. native; Habitat. Here are some of the interesting facts about the cape porcupine. Their digging does promote soil oxygenation and the new growth of bulbs, though. They reach their full size by the end of their first year of life. It's a vision to behold as it trundles along, beneath a quivering battery of spines – like a bush on legs. Extending from the face are long whiskers. Their teeth and gut are both adapted to handle tough material that other animals may not be able to break down or digest. 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. Some species of New World porcupines live in trees, however, Old World porcupines are exclusively terrestrial (ground dwellers). The Cape leopard is the stuff of legends. Cape Porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis. 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. It will be another three to five months after weaning before the mother gives birth again. When born, their quills are soft and sensitive bristles. The cape porcupine is named for the crest of white-tipped bristles around its neck. The Cape Porcupine is 630 to 810 mm in length (excluding the small tail, which is about 110 to 200mm long). They care for their young together, but will usually forage for food independently of their mate. This porcupine species is found throughout southern and central Africa; including in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo. They live in small groups consisting of a monogamous pair and their young who share a den. 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. 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. They can stab an attacker with these quills to defend themselves. 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 . Although the body is robust, the legs are very stocky and short, while the tail is practically unseen. Males and females are similar sizes, typically weighing between 18 and 30kg (39.7 and 66lb). ... Habitat: Lowlands and tropical mountain forests, steppes, semi … Some porcupines inhabit rocky regions up to 3,500 metres (11,000 feet) high. They prefer rocky hills and outcrops, as they must have shelter during the day. Following a successful mating it will take 94 days for the offspring to be born. Cape porcupines are nocturnal and monogamous, typically living as mated pairs of adults, caring for any young together. Breeding takes place between May and December in the wild while in captivity they will breed year-round. The Cape porcupine grows up to a meter long and 20kg in weight. Due to their effective defence system, the African Porcupine does not easily succumb to predators. They are covered in quills which is where their name porcupine derives from as in French ‘ porc espin ’ means spined pig. Distribution Sub-saharan Africa excluding the coastal deserts of the southwest Habitat Adaptable – found in forests, on plantations, in … Hystrix africaeaustralis is found only in sub-saharan Africa, excluding the coastal desert of the southwest. Want to see african or cape porcupine in their natural habitat? Over half of litters are single births. Sitemap. Predators of the cape porcupine include big cats, hyenas and large birds. 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. Cape porcupines achieve sexual maturity at 2 years old in females and between 8 and 18 months for males. The Cape Porcupine lives for a relatively long time. However, they are sometimes challenged by lions, leopards, hyenas, and the like. At birth the average weight of the newborn is 311g (11oz). This is the world’s largest porcupine – and also by far the largest rodent in Africa. They are the largest rodent in Africa and the largest of the porcupines. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. They can be found in high and low elevations, and in a variety of conditions. 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. If the porcupine is attacked, its initial reaction is to freeze and wait for the danger to pass. This locks them in the den so they are not able to be dislodged. ("The South African Porcupine Page", 1999; Smithers, 1983)Biogeographic Regions; ethiopian. All Rights Reserved. Typically, the male is more defensive of their territory, which they both mark. For example, the peri-urban area was the only site which included timber plantations within its composition . Porcupines can also be found living in rock crevices, hollow logs and small caves. Cape porcupine We have two Cape porcupine here at Edinburgh Zoo, a male named Little Rick and a female named Zahara. Habitat. SA-Venues.com � 1999-2020. From the head to the base of it’s tail, a cape porcupine measures between 63 and 81cm (25 and 32in) long. Habitat use of Cape porcupines were investigated at the landscape-scale (2nd order of selection) and the home range-scale (3rd order of selection). It has long hair and black-and-white quills that can grow to a foot in length. Pairs will mate for life with both parents involved in the care of the offspring. Did you know? These are long and measure up to 30cm (11.8in) long for quills and 50cm (20in) for spines. South African porcupines are found from sea level to 2000 m above sea level in most areas with vegetation. Behavior and Habitat. On each foot is five toes each with a claw. 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. In addition to being targeted for their quills, they are illegally hunted for their meat. Weaning does not occur till between their third and fourth month. They are hunted by farmers when they dig up crops. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. When a Cape porcupine feels threatened, it will stomp its feet, click its teeth, growl and vibrate its quills before it pokes its predator. Porcupine spines can be over half a meter long. Because of their preference for plant roots and bulbs, these porcupines can become a pest amongst farmers, who make their living from the crops. Short, while they can live for double that period in captivity they will often go out foraging their! 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