Minnesota Tree Bark Mystery Solved
If there's one thing the state of Minnesota has an abundance of (other than its 10,000 lakes, of course), it's trees.
The state is home to 53 native tree species and every one of them has a wide array of animals that depend on them for food and shelter.
However, one mammal has habitually eaten an extensive amount of bark off many Minnesota trees. So much, that it can sometimes even kill them.
Say Hello to the Minnesota Porcupine
Although many Minnesotans can live their entire lives without even seeing one, porcupines are quite abundant in the North Star State; living mainly in the forested north, but they can also be found in the southeast, near the Mississippi River. And while they are mostly harmless (unless a foolish predator tries to eat them), they are known to strip Minnesota trees of their bark, causing them to die in some cases.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, porcupines mainly eat the bark of trees in the winter months, when their food supply is limited.
During summer, porcupines eat leaves, nuts, and berries. During other seasons, favored foods are the bark, buds, and needles of trees. Sometimes, porcupines strip bark to the extent that the trees die.
-Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Website
To watch a video of a porcupine indulging itself on some delicious tree bark, check out the YouTube link below.
And to learn more about the Minnesota porcupine; its habitat, food preferences, predators, and lifespan, read this article from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.