Crestless Himalayan Porcupine (Hystrix hodgsoni)
HB: 650-735; T: 60-115; HF:75-93; E: 27-44.
H.hodgsoni is very similar to H. brachyur, though the crest is said to be lower( an aged linked character) and the quills often have a wider black band than in brachyura, (although this may be an individual variable character) The nasals are comparatively large being 55.6 of the occipitonasal length. The sagittal crest is well developed.
This species ranges from Nepal, through north-eastern India (Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland) (Molur et al. 2005), to central and southern China (Xizang, Hainan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Hunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Fujian, Jianxi, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu) (Smith and Xie 2008), throughout Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, through Peninsular Malaysia, to Singapore, Sumatra (Indonesia) and throughout Borneo (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei). It is also present on the island of Penang, Malaysia. It can be found from sea level to at least 1,300 m asl.
Bangladesh; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Vietnam.
Habitat and Ecology
It can be found in various forest habitats up to about 1000 m elevation. It builds large burrows with more than one entrance in clay banks or amongst boulders on hill or mountain sides. Long , wide runways lead in many directions from the burrow., and in scrubby, Also found in open areas close to forest. It can be found in agricultural areas, but needs to have rocky outcrops or other areas in which it can create a den or dig burrows. Burrows are generally occupied by family groups. Following a gestation period of about 110 days, two or three young are born. Two litters may be produced annually. These porcupines can cause a great deal of damage in plantations. They feed on the inner and outer bark of trees, and sometimes girdles a tree causing it to die. . They also damage twigs causing loss of vigour and death to the tree.. When threatened , this species raises its long quills, rattles its cylindrical quills and also stamps its feet and snorts. In attack , it hurls itself backwards against its enemy, driving home some of the quills with great force.. The small compact, mass of short, solid quills do most of the damage. The longer quills do less damage as they are less firmly fixed. They have been known to kill large felines with their quills.
In Southeast Asia, it is hunted for food but this not thought to impact populations. In South Asia, it is threatened by habitat loss due to construction of dams, human settlements and other infrastructure development. It is harvested for subsistence food and medicinal purposes (Molur et al. 2005).
This species is present in many protected areas. It is known from the following protected areas in South Asia, Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India, Lang Tang National Park in Central Nepal, and Sagarmatha National Park in Eastern Nepal (Molur et al. 2005). In South Asia it is protected by Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.