The once familiar hedgehog has declined dramatically over the past few decades. Surprisingly, for such a well-loved creature, very little is known about why the hedgehog is in crisis. This makes it difficult to target conservation efforts to where they will be most effective. It is presumed that road accidents, and the loss of suitable, well-connected habitat might be important. Yet in some areas the hedgehog still seems to be thriving. It is not known whether this is because they are being given supplementary food in people’s gardens. However, a disadvantage of mammal research is that it can be difficult to observe them in the wild, and hedgehogs, as nocturnal mammals with a fondness for untidy, easy to hide in habitats are no exceptions.
To find out more about these elusive creatures, the Mammal Society recently conducted the Hedgehog & Lighting Project. We asked citizens scientists whose gardens, hedgehogs and garden lighting fulfilled the requirements of the project to film their feeding hedgehogs in light and dark conditions using camera traps. We hoped to find out whether the presence or absence of light influenced hedgehog feeding behaviour.
Data from this project has been collected and is now being analysed, so in the meantime we wanted to give you a sneak peak into some footage from the coverage to see what some of our observed hedgehogs got up to after dark!
Sharing some sneak peeks from our Hedgehog and Lighting Project:
This hedgehog appeared to struggle a little with this empty bowl! Video from Diane Lamboll
We’re as excited about our research as this hedgehog was about dinner! Video from Rachel Brown
This hedgehog isn’t worried about taking on more than it can chew in this clip! Video from Gordon Stevens
Nothing like a good scratch! Video from Elizabeth Bruce
If you’ve been struck by a busy week, why not curl up against the cold and refuse to move like this hedgehog has! Video from Rachel Brown
Our hedgehog research has taken place in some very busy gardens, how many hedgehogs have you seen in one go? Video from Gordon Stevens
If you would like to register your interest for getting involved in future Mammal Society research using trail cameras please email us firstname.lastname@example.org