Hystrix africaeaustralis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Hystricidae

Scientific Name: Hystrix africaeaustralis
Species Authority: Peters, 1852
Common Name(s):
English Cape Porcupine

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Grubb, P.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. Some limited hunting by humans occurs some parts of the range, but the population overall is stable.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This widespread African species occurs from Kenya and southern Uganda in the north, through Tanzania, Rwanda, southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, extreme southwestern Congo, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique, and then south throughout the southern African Subregion (although it is absent from much of central Botswana). There is no confirmed evidence that they occur on The island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. It is found from sea level to over 2,000 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Botswana; Burundi; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Rwanda; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is fairly common, although hunting pressure may account for its absence in some areas.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in most of the types of vegetation encountered in southern Africa. They are generally absent from forest, and are only found here marginally. They have been recorded in the coastal parts of the Namib Desert in Namibia. Day-time shelters may take the form of rock crevices, caves and abandoned Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) burrows or other types of holes in the ground. Holes are often modified to their own requirements, but they also dig their own burrows as they do in East Africa. It is a nocturnal, territorial and mostly solitary forager, although it can occasionally be found foraging in groups of two to three animals. This species is monogamous and live in groups comprising either an adult pair, an adult pair and their offspring from consecutive litters, or an adult male and young of the year (Skinner and Smithers 1990; Skinner and Chimimba 2005). The species has a gestation period of 93 to 94 days, after which one to three young are born. There is a single litter per year.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. Porcupines have benefited from agricultural development and their destructive feeding habitats have led to them being considered as a problem in some farming areas, especially where root crops, potatoes, groundnuts and maize are grown. Porcupines are also notorious for ring-barking trees, which exposes the tree's heartwood and increases susceptibility to fungal infections.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas, most of which are very well managed.

Citation: Grubb, P. 2008. Hystrix africaeaustralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T10748A3212042. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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