Porcupine Sighted Near Teal Pond

Kyle Courtney is on our maintenance crew and he observed a porcupine while he was bicycling on the trails around Teal Pond!  Kyle observed the porcupine on June 18, 2011 at approximately 4:15 p.m.  This is the first direct observation of a live porcupine recorded on the property!  This past winter we observed several signs near Teal Pond that indicated a porcupine lived on the property during the winter months.  Connecticut's porcupine population resides in the northwest and northeastern corners.  The White Memorial Foundation property is located on the edge of Connecticut's porcupine geographic range.  We have an ongoing experiment that has placed salt treated wooden stakes at regular intervals throughout the Five Pond region to observe porcupine chew marks on the sticks.  Porcupines have a strong salt drive from April to August and we wanted to use this behavior in our favor so initialized this project to indicate where the porcupine resided on the property this summer.  To date, the salt treated wooden stakes have not yielded clear evidence of a porcupine residing on the property this summer.  Therefore, Kyle's observation is an important one.

When we heard this news, we had to run to see if we could find the animal for ourselves.  Olivia Riccio, Becca Solnit, and I performed several straight line transects through the region looking up into every tree for our porcupine.  Although the weather was quite warm and humid, Becca and Olivia showed some true grit.  After two hours of tromping over logs, rocks, and through swamps, we didn't find our animal.  But we have not given up, yet!

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