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When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

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When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:31 pm

I just have to ask because I haven't seen one in years, nor has anyone else I know. Has anyone seen a porcupine in the Eastern Sierras in say the last five years. If so where were you and when did you see it?



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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby Shawn » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:34 pm

I haven't seen one, but have a look here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3348&p=19823&hilit=porcupine#p19823
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby dave54 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:35 pm

Just barely the eastern Sierra, but about a week ago in Susanville. Roadkill, along Hwy 139 just south of Lassen College.
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:39 am

They use to be all over....what happened to them????
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby cgundersen » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:56 pm

Hi Bad Man,
The porcupine siting Shawn referred to was definitely the first hint I had that these critters lurked in the Sierras. If there's a wildlife biologist who reads this site, maybe they can offer a better explanation for why they are so rare now (though, since this was a first for me in 30+ years, I'd call them rare regardless). I know that I see far fewer pika than in prior years, but I think that is because their habitat is shrinking.
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:24 pm

When I was a kid we use to see them all over. The last one I saw was when I was about 17 driving up to Lundy Lake. We use to see them all over, and you would always see evidence of them eating on the trees in the winter. I haven't seen one in over 10 years, nor have I heard of many sightings minus what has been posted on this thread so far. I think they are becoming more and more rare in the Eastern Sierra where they were very plentiful not that long ago. You dont see many ran over on 395 or 120 or other area highways. As for habitat loss, I think they live in and eat on trees. There hasn't been much logging except for the small amounts done in the Jeffery Pine Forest east of the Sierra. We haven't had many major fires destroying their habitat (knock on wood). I'm just stumped on what happened to these critters and no one seams to know or even care :( !

I heard a rumor from a very good source, Mountain Lions have figured out how to prey on them by flipping them over and getting to them through their soft belly. I wonder if there is any truth to that? I think there has been a large increase in cat numbers over the years.....any takers on this theory??
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby hikerduane » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:20 pm

I have seen evidence of them chewing on trees, can't remember if it was just further north in the southern Cascades in the Caribou Wilderness or if I have seen chewed on trees on my trips in the JM Wilderness. Any way, I have seen trees damaged by them recently.

I saw a few pikas on my xc JM trip this summer, so I know those little guys are out and about.

Since Pooch passed away, I haven't seen any bears in the wilderness though.
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby cgundersen » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:20 am

Although I've never seen a big cat in the Sierras, all the reports suggest that they are on the upswing (and that "contacts" with humans are more common). So, if the cats have figured out how to roll porcupines, that could contribute to the decline (which would be fine because it would imply that once cat numbers decline, as animal populations tend to do, then their food sources would bounce back).
Yep, I definitely look for pika, because in addition to being so incredibly cute, I take their presence as a good sign that they have not been "cooked" out of an area. Even so, I seldom spot more than one or two on trips in pretty high places, and it definitely seems that their numbers have dwindled.
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby Strider » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:33 am

I haven't seen any porcupines, but I have seen Porsches. The only difference: On a porcupine, the pricks are on the outside. :evil:
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby Matilda » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:43 pm

One of my dogs encountered a porcupine near McCloud Lake (off-trail, along the outlet stream heading down to Horseshoe) near Mammoth. You can guess which creature fared better in that meeting! Porcupine 20, Border Collie 0. The vet in Bishop said this was an especially good year for porcupines, if you can judge their numbers by the number of dogs taken in to be de-quilled.
Same dog also found porcupines near Agnew Meadows two years ago.
Lots of tree trunk evidence of 'pines around Mammoth, too.
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby cgundersen » Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:02 pm

Hey bad man,
The previous post seems to have one of the better indexes of the porcupine population: vets. I'm sure that some folks de-quill their animals, but I'd be among (the majority) who'd head directly to the vet. I'm not sure what the equation is that relates de-quilling visits to the porcupine population, but I'm sure there's a mathematician out there who could come up with a decent guess.
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Re: When was the last time you saw a porcupine in the Eastern Si

Postby el cuervo » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:27 pm

Bad man wrote regarding porcupines:
...."I'm just stumped on what happened to these critters and no one seams to know or even care "


Bad man wrote regarding golden trout:
"The paradox between golden trout and YYLF will continue but I think we can have both!!"

Paradox? Trout eat virtually everything in the water column they can get their mouth on. What paradox? What training do you base you thought on?

Porcupines appear to be disappearing, what about all the critters that were in the lake before the non-native trout were introduced?



Bad man wrote regarding golden trout:
"I hope that everyone who reads this report of fishing the High Sierras considers supporting these wonderful and historic fisheries."

The native species have an even longer history prior to intervention by man


Bad man wrote regarding golden trout:
"I would encourage folks to show support for supplementing non sustainable fisheries i.e. support back country stocking programs!!"

Ever wonder why they are non-sustainable?


Bad man wrote regarding his neighbor in Lee VIning:
"I grew up in Lee Vining and lived too close for comfort with one of the folks responsible for the frog movement."

Well maybe you could start a porcupine movement? Roland cares deeply about the entire ecosystem, not merely 2-3 introduced species that put that fragile ecosystem out of balance. While I too enjoy trout fishing, I much prefer an overall healthy ecosystem, not an ecosystem manipulated so that a subset of ONE species can enjoy a hobby.
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