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Are There Porcupines in Tennessee

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Tennessee is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including several species of rodents, but there are no porcupines native to the state. Porcupines are small to medium-sized mammals that belong to the family Erethizontidae; they are closely related to porcupines, which are found in Africa and South America. 

Can the Porcupine Return to Tennessee?

Once found throughout the state of Tennessee, the porcupine is now considered to be extirpated, meaning that it no longer exists in the wild in that state. Although there have been a few sightings of porcupines in recent years, it is unclear whether these animals are mere stragglers or represent a viable population.

Porcupines in tennessee

Why there are no Porcupines in Tennessee?

Tennessee is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from deer and rabbits to birds and snakes. However, one creature that is notably absent from the state is the porcupine. So why are there no porcupines in Tennessee? The answer may surprise you. Porcupines are actually quite shy creatures, and they prefer to live in areas with dense vegetation where they can hide from predators.

Unfortunately, Tennessee’s landscape is mostly composed of open fields and rolling hills, with few places for porcupines to hide. Additionally, the state’s climate is not ideal for porcupines, as they prefer cooler temperatures and tend to avoid areas that are prone to drought. As a result, it is unlikely that porcupines will ever make Tennessee their home.

Does any Zoo in Tennessee have Porcupines?

Nashville Zoo has welcomed 3 baby porcupines as per the fox news published in 2021 

porcupines eating fruits

What other states do porcupines live in?

The porcupine’s distribution in North America spans from the southern tip of Mexico through western Canada and the United States. Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England are all places it can be found in the eastern United States.

Final Words

In short, there are no porcupines in Tennessee. The last known population in the state was wiped out by hunting and habitat loss in the early 1900s. However, there have been a few sightings of the animals in recent years. In 2010, a dead porcupine was found near the Tennessee-Kentucky border. DNA testing confirmed that the animal had come from Ontario, Canada.

It’s possible that the porcupine travelled south along the Appalachian Trail in search of new territory. There have also been a handful of reports of porcupines in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, these sightings are likely of escaped pets or animals that were illegally brought into the state. As such, it is unlikely that porcupines will establish a population in Tennessee anytime soon.

References:

https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/mammals/medium/fisher.html
https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/porcupine.ht
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Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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