2014-02-12 13:17:12 -
They have stiff, sharp, erectile spines or quills, they are Porcupines! They are mainly found in America, Southern Asia and Africa. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents in the world. They have quills which are sharp and stiff which help them in their defense. Most porcupines are about 25–36 inch long, with an 8–10 inch long tail. Weighing 12–35 lb, they are rounded, large and slow. The quills are modified hairs that are mixed in with other hair. A porcupine defends itself by thrusting its quills into the flesh of an attacking animal. Quill attack is very dangerous for the attackers and even deadly. Porcupines cause much damage to trees and crops.
Porcupines are usually nocturnal and are active
all year round. During summer, porcupines often feed on succulent plants, including garden and truck crops in open meadows, fields, and along the banks of streams and lakes. Greatest damage is caused in winter when porcupines feed on the inner bark of trees. During fall, porcupines substantially increase their intake of tree gathering materials for forage by approximately 72%. Girdling in the upper trunk of trees often results in dead tops. Basal girdling may occur on seedlings. Porcupines are attracted to anything containing perspiration salt: saddles, harnesses, belts, and tool handles.
Porcupine’s quills and guard hair are used for traditional decorative clothing. For example, their guard hair is used in the creation of the Native American "porky roach" headdress.
It was reported in DNA on 3rd February 2013 in Srinagar that “Porcupines threaten Kashmir country side, damage crops
An explosion in the population of Himalayan porcupines threatens to wreak havoc on the saffron and vegetable, crops and fruit trees in Kashmir Valley. Long- time residents say they have no memory of the animal; its sighting is a new phenomenon. Some wildlife experts and researchers said that in the search of food and due to shrinking habitat and human interference in forest areas have caused the porcupines to move towards the human habitations
Porcupines are fond of tuber crops like potatoes, saffron corms (the swollen underground stem that some plants have to survive harsh conditions like winter snow) cabbages, fruit barks etc. Many Local saffron growers complain that the porcupine population is a serious threat to their crop,
Many statements are reported against Porcupines stating the injuries they caused-:
“Many watchdogs in the countryside have been injured by porcupine quills in violent encounters. As they have their powerful defense mechanism, which is extremely, sharp and effective quills. The quills serve as natural armour," said Rouf Ahmad Zargar, wildlife warden, North Kashmir.
Due to the damage and the increase in the population of Porcupines Wildlife expert Rashid Naqash said that if there is official acceptance that the population of porcupines has reached menacing levels, the animals could be categorized as "vermin".
“A porcupine recently damaged the eye of a child in a north Kashmir village” said a resident.
Similarly, as reported by Fox News in January 2009, In Telluride, the residents complained against the damage made by Porcupines.
TELLURIDE, Colo. – Porcupines are becoming a prickly pest for Telluride-area residents.
Residents say the rodents are chomping on the bark of spruce trees, yard trees, and have killed 50-foot-high native trees. The damage is estimated at more than $100,000 in the Mountain Village above Telluride.
Porcupines also favor salty and sweaty items, so plywood treated with a sodium-based substance has become attractive to them. They've also munched on shoes, vehicle tires, and tool handles.
Mountain Village resident Vicki Irwin says she's never seen the porcupines be so aggressive.
Some possible reasons cited for the porcupine's behavior are a harsh winter last year that ramped-up their appetites and the rodents can roam freely because many of the town's 4,100 residents live elsewhere most of the year.
As porcupines play an important role in the ecosystem, so killing them is not a solution. To save the crops and vegetation there must be a green and safe alternate.
C Tech Corporation caters as a solution its niche product Rodrepel�. It is non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmentally friendly anti-rodent aversive. It is effective for a period of upto 40 years. Rodrepel� can be incorporated in agricultural films, tarps, pipes, plastics, ducts, tubing and hosing.