Hedgehog and mouse pawprints

Hedgehog pawprints

A while ago I shared the results of using a black plastic tunnel, inkpads, paper and some tasty mealworms to find out who visits my garden at night. Researchers using this method on a rather larger scale have recently shared results for the UK as a whole.

It turns out that my garden is the exception, rather than the rule. While hedgehogs are regular visitors to my patch, they were found in only 39% of sites surveyed. This is a lower proportion than expected, and is further evidence of the decline in hedgehogs.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species are now running an even bigger survey using this method, and are looking for volunteers. It’s quick and simple to set up, and can provide some fascinating insights into your nocturnal visitors – why not sign up? Evidence from this larger study may help us to understand why hedgehog numbers are declining, and how we can help them. Go on, give a hog a hand!


4 thoughts on “Hedgehog pawprints”

  1. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch, don’t you think? Lol. In all honesty I hadn’t heard of them but I do admire these niche organisations. Now, erring onto a rather controversial issue but I do wonder whether any scientists are researching or are thinking of doing so, for the Badger-Hedgehog relationship.

    Best Wishes Annabelle and well done on your recent Blogging anniversary.

    Tony Powell

    1. Thanks Tony!

      Your right about the Monty Python sketch – I wonder if they’d make hedgehogs out to be as dangerous as bunny rabbits with pointy, pointy teeth?

      There has been some research on the impact of culling badgers on hedgehog numbers, linked to the Randomised Badger Culling Trial. A paper published in the journal PLoS ONE earlier this year reports their results – during the 5-year period of the badger cull hedgehog numbers doubled in cull areas, but didn’t change in non-cull areas. Badgers do eat hedgehogs (they’re about the only British predator of hedgehogs, as nothing else can get past the spines), and they also compete with them for food. You can read the paper here – it’s open access.

      1. You’re a star, Thanks. I’ve downloaded the research paper to read at my leisure. Yes, I guess where removal (however contentious it is) takes place, there will be some positive effects on the creatures that are threatened by it. I think the general public at large will slowly have to come around to such possibilities where species are on the brink, as it could be the final throw of the dice for some creatures.

        Best Wishes and Thanks again.

        Tony Powell

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