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hedgehog loss worse than thought

Hedgehog numbers in Britain are declining by three to five per cent each year in towns and in the rural landscape, with the loss most apparent in the South West, South East and Eastern regions of England, according to the results of a ten-year trend analysis by People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).

hedgehog Between 2001 and 2011, records of hedgehogs in the Trust’s annual Mammals on Roads survey fell by 32 per cent; over a similar period, 2003 to 2012, records of hedgehogs in green urban and suburban spaces, documented in the yearly Living with Mammals survey, fell by 37 per cent.

The ten-year analysis of these two surveys further supports evidence highlighted in The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs that hedgehog numbers in Britain are declining dramatically. The trends show a loss as rapid as that of the world’s tigers and, in the bird world, would be given a ‘red alert’ listing.

“Continuous monitoring each year is vital to help us build a more complete picture of the state of the UK’s wild mammal populations,” explains PTES Surveys Officer David Wembridge. “Over the last twenty years or so, the world’s tiger population is thought to have halved. Although they are very different animals and there are many fewer tigers left in the wild, the fact that we are losing hedgehogs in Britain as quickly, should ring alarm bells as loudly.”

PTES have also issued a position statement on the topic of badgers and hedgehog decline. Read our response here.

how to help

You can help take practical action by joining Hedgehog Street. In partnership with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the project aims to link up and improve gardens for wild hedgehogs. Join 25,000 others and become a Hedgehog Champion for your neighbourhood today.

You can also support our ongoing hedgehog research projects by donating or becoming a supporter today. Find out more here.

(Homepage hedgehogs image by David Cooper)

Posted on 28th January, 2013, updated on 7th March, 2013

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