North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) have historically occurred at low densities in parts of western Kansas. As areas of suitable habitat for porcupines may change over time due to factors such as shifting land-use patterns, climate change, and woody invasion it is important to periodically reevaluate the distribution of this species. To determine the current distribution of porcupines in Kansas, we surveyed veterinarians from across the state to document instances where domestic animals encountered porcupines. We found that porcupines are still relatively uncommon in Kansas and their overall distribution has not notably shifted. Porcupine encounters most commonly occurred in fall months. This knowledge adds to the current understanding of porcupine ecology in the Great Plains and should be useful for future studies aimed at understanding how climate and land-use change impacts porcupine distribution.
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Vol. 120 • No. 1–2