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Volume 81—2001

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Additional Records for the Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) in Oklahoma

Jack D. Tyler and Michael A. Haynie

Department of Biological Sciences, Cameron University, Lawton, OK 73505

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The porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) was originally a resident of the Black Mesa country in the northwestern corner of the Oklahoma Panhandle (1). However, it has been encountered with increasing frequency in the western half of the state during the last half of the 20th Century; these records were summarized through October 1996 by Tyler and Joles (2). The purpose of the present note is to augment that study and we report 49 new specimen and sight records in 21 counties of western Oklahoma other than Cimarron County. Six counties (Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Murray, Noble, Oklahoma, and Stephens) are represented for the first time (Fig. 1). Records are based primarily on Tyler's field notes from 1996-2000. Sight records (mostly road-kills) were accrued on an opportunistic basis from biologists, game rangers, landowners, and other individuals. Referenced specimens (a majority are quills from carcasses) are housed in the Cameron University Museum of Zoology (CUMZ).

Knowledge of porcupine distribution in the state should be documented geographically and historically. Such work will provide baseline information for future studies of the ecology of porcupines in the southern Great Plains.


Table 1 summarizes the 26 additional sightings and 23 additional specimen records from October 27, 1996 through June 20, 2001. In 8 of the 21 counties, there was more than one occurrence, and 7 counties were not represented in Tyler and Joles (2).


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1.   Caire W, Tyler JD, Glass BP, Mares MA. Mammals of Oklahoma. Norman (OK): University of Oklahoma Press; 1989.

2.   Tyler JD, Joles S. The porcupine in Oklahoma. Proc Okla Acad Sci 1997;77:107-110.

Received: July 29, 2000; Accepted April 5, 2001


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