Winter is nearly here and it’s time for hedgehogs to hibernate. But how have they fared this year? As part of National Mammal Week, the Mammal Society is appealing to the public to help with a new survey that will review how many hedgehogs – dead or alive – have been spotted this year.
Fiona Mathews, Chair of the Mammal Society and Associate Professor at the University of Exeter says “Hedgehogs are one of our most appealing animals. Sadly, they seem to be in long-term decline, and we are still not sure of the cause. In fact they are so scarce in many parts of the country, that people can remember exactly how many they have seen and where they were at the time. This is critical information that will help us to understand what we can do to help.”
Laura Kubasiewicz, the Mammal Society’s Science officer adds “It is really important that people who have seen no hedgehogs at all also take part: this will let us identify areas that have a real conservation problem, and in the future will allow us to monitor whether strategies to get hedgehogs back are working”.
The online survey is available on the Mammal Society website (www.mammal.org.uk) and takes just a few minutes to complete. All completed surveys will go towards the conservation of one of our most loved species. The public can also help hedgehogs by contributing to the Mammal Society’s hedgehog appeal (www.mammal.org.uk/about-us/latest-appeal).