Indian crested porcupine

This charismatic creature is not just a quilled beauty but also a skilled architect

Weissschwanzstachelschwein

A distinguished member of the genus Hystrix, it is a creature of remarkable beauty and resilience. Characterized by its striking crest of long, sharp quills, which can reach up to 50 cm (20 inches) in length, this species is a formidable presence in the forests and grasslands of the Indian subcontinent. Beyond its impressive quills, it possesses large, curved claws, essential tools that enable the animal to dig intricate burrow systems for shelter and to forage for the roots and tubers that comprise its diet.

What truly sets the South Indian crested porcupine apart is its incredible adaptability to a wide array of habitats. This adaptability has allowed it to thrive in environments ranging from arid deserts to lush forests, showcasing a versatility not seen in many other species. Despite its bulk, this porcupine is also an unexpectedly proficient swimmer, capable of navigating waters with ease—a skill that serves it well when escaping predators or searching for aquatic plants to consume.

The South Indian crested porcupine’s diet is primarily herbivorous, feeding on a variety of plants, fruits, and seeds. However, it is also known to occasionally consume small vertebrates and insects, demonstrating a level of dietary flexibility that ensures its survival across various ecosystems. This porcupine’s foraging behavior, particularly its appetite for cultivated crops, often brings it into conflict with local farmers, who regard it as a pest.

In addition to agricultural conflicts, the South Indian crested porcupine faces threats from hunting. It is pursued for its meat, which is considered a delicacy in some cultures, and its quills, which are used in traditional medicine and as talismans and ornaments. Despite these pressures, the South Indian crested porcupine has managed to maintain its presence across the region, a testament to its resilience and adaptability.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Armenia
2016
Azerbaijan
2016
China
2016
Georgia
2016
India
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Israel
2016
Jordan
2016
Kazakhstan
2016
Kyrgyzstan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Nepal
2016
Pakistan
2016
Saudi Arabia
2016
Sri Lanka
2016
Syria
2016
Tajikistan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Turkey
2016
Turkmenistan
2016
Uzbekistan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Yemen
2016

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Group

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No