The NAME is classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:
Porcupine may be hunted, but not trapped, without a licence throughout the province, at all times of the year. See details
in the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. To view the guide online or to order a printed copy, visit the My
Wild Alberta website at:
A pointed defence
Porcupines move about at a slow and plodding pace, and are easily overtaken by most animals. However, their impressive defence
system discourages attack by wolves, coyotes or other predators. A porcupine will turn its tail to an attacker and cover
its unprotected face. If the attacker gets too close, the porcupine will lash out with its spiny, club-like tail. The blows
from the tail are delivered swiftly, and the loose quills are easily detached from the porcupine's skin.
The barbed quills can be quite painful and prevent the attacker from feeding, especially if they are impaled in the mouth
or paws. The barbs on the quills prevent easy removal and promote movement deeper into the victim. Thus, the quills can
kill an animal weeks after an attack.
Updated: May 12, 2010