Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

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c9h13no3
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Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by c9h13no3 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:01 pm

Pretty sure this guy is a porcupine, but wanted to check here first. He clearly gave no f*@k about me, and was moving really slow. Seemed like he couldn't see very well, didn't really notice me until he was really close.

I took some video of the little goober below:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/44Txrzmzq4aQ5BjV7


IMG_1948.jpg
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bobby49
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by bobby49 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:20 pm

It looks like a well-fed yellow bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris. There must be a bazillion of them around the Sierra.

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c9h13no3
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by c9h13no3 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:56 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:20 pm
It looks like a well-fed yellow bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris. There must be a bazillion of them around the Sierra.
Yeah, could be. Just marmots usually move pretty fast and aren't that big. Maybe this one ate a couple "special gummies" & a pizza. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by bobby49 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:58 pm

Other points to consider:
Porcupines exist in the Sierra Nevada, but in forty years I've never seen one there. I see them in Montana and Alaska.
Porcupines don't have much of a visible tail. Your animal seemed to have a standard marmot tail.
Porcupines have dense quills, not fur. Your animal seemed to have standard marmot fur.

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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by ERIC » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:44 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:56 pm
bobby49 wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:20 pm
It looks like a well-fed yellow bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris. There must be a bazillion of them around the Sierra.
Yeah, could be. Just marmots usually move pretty fast and aren't that big. Maybe this one ate a couple "special gummies" & a pizza. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Maybe that's why he was walking so slow?
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by Shawn » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:13 pm

I've never seen a Marmot with such distinctive markings (dark fur on the legs, light color on back). I'd say either big old Badger or a very slight chance it's a Wolverine.

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bobby49
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by bobby49 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:07 pm

Badger head markings tend to be more pronounced. Their bodies tend to be much flatter.

Personally, I have never seen a badger up at high elevation. I see them more down in the foothills.

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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by Shawn » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:19 pm

Yeah, I was kind of wondering where the photo was taken.

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c9h13no3
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:31 pm

Shawn wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:19 pm
Yeah, I was kind of wondering where the photo was taken.
Shadow lake inlet.
Last edited by c9h13no3 on Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sierra Nevada Porcupine?

Post by MichaelRPetrick » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:53 am

Echoing the others, that's extremely not a porcupine.

Personally, I can't tell if it's an ANCIENT marmot all jacked up by the ravages of time, or something else altogether from the one picture... looks more like a fisher/wolverine/etc to me than a marmot on second glance though?

Maybe send it to an Inyo FS biologist?

Their contact information is findable on FS websites. I sent a Fisher sighting to them in the Sierra NF last week.

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