Hystrix cristata (Mammalia: Rodentia: Hystricidae) newly recorded in South Tyrol (Italy) at its current northernmost distribution limit

Elia Guariento, Matteo Anderle, Andrea Debiasi & Chiara Paniccia

The presence of Hystrix cristata in the province of South Tyrol was documented by two independent records of quills found at two different locations. While further official confirmations beyond single quill records are required to confirm the occurrence of permanent populations, these findings already provide important information to increase the attention on this protected species and to understand its range expansion mechanisms. H. cristata is known to currently spread northwards in Italy and the records reported here represent the northernmost distribution record in Europe, suggesting a potential expansion within the Alpine area and adjacent countries.

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