April 11, 2013
A team of researchers led by Antonio Rossano Mendes Pontes [2009 interview], a biologist at the Federal University of Pernambuco, found the porcupine in a small forest fragment in the state of Pernambuco. They christened the rodent Coendou speratus, a combination of its local name “coandu-mirim” and the Latin word “speratus” for “hope”.
The name choice is appropriate given the porcupine’s high risk of extinction. About 98 percent of its forest habitat has been destroyed, while its population is as fragmented as the forests it inhabits, making the species vulnerable in inbreeding, according to the researchers. The species is also actively hunted…
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