On the spatial behaviour of Indian crested porcupines (Hystrix indica) Academic Article uri icon


  • Nocturnal activity of six Indian crested porcupines (Hystrix indica), inhabiting two nearby dens in the Negev desert highlands of southern Israel, was monitored for nine months by radio location telemetry. From movement simulation of 1121 relocations (187 ± 56 per animal) on a grid representation of the 20 km2 study area, mean home ranges (i.e. 90% domains) were 1–5 ± 0–4 km2 and the animals moved 2.8 ± 0.7 km per night. Spatial activity differed by main foraging habitat which, in turn, corresponded to den affiliation. Porcupines that foraged regularly on crops had narrow domains with bimodal activity centres near the den and in potato fields; and their movements were relatively stable across seasons. Animals dependent on natural forage had larger and seasonally variable domains, and more diffuse dispersions with a single activity centre near the den. Home range overlap was greater among crop foragers, and all porcupines remained closer to dens during moonlit periods. We conclude that crested porcupine dispersion patterns are flexible, and strongly linked to forage availability. The array of analytical procedures used here are recommended for future studies of animal spatial activity.

publication date

  • January 1, 1989