When did you last see a hedgehog?
It’s #MammalWeek and we’re going live with our #HogWatch2018 survey! We’re asking our supporters to let us know if you’ve seen any hedgehogs this year, and if so, when and where. Even if you haven’t seen a hedgehog, it’s still important for us to know. The survey will take 2-10 minutes depending upon how many hedgehogs you have seen.
Over the last 2 years we’ve had a great response to our HogWatch surveys, with almost 6700 people having told us about their hedgehog sightings. The information you provide contributes to the latest conservation research and is helping us to map hedgehog sightings across the UK – just like so:
Additionally, last year we found that:
- People reported seeing hedgehogs in gardens more than any other habitat.
- 54% of people that reported seeing live hedgehogs saw them in a garden, similar to the 58% of people in 2016.
- 73% of the people that saw hedgehogs in their garden fed them, an increase from the 64% in 2016.
Figure 2. Habitat types in which people reported seeing hedgehogs, either dead or alive, in 2017.
This year we’re hoping for a record number of responses! You can help us achieve this and fill in those gaps on the map, particularly in Scotland and Northern Ireland, by taking part in the survey here.
Why should you take the #HogWatch2018 survey?
Aptly named for its frequenting of garden hedgerows and snorting-like feeding behaviour, the hedgehog is a welcome sight in much of the UK, rootling for small insects, worms, slugs and snails throughout the night. However, this once numerous mammal has seen a dramatic decline in the past few decades.
Fragmentation, road traffic accidents, poor management of hedgerows and inaccessibility to gardens are thought to be the main causes of the population decline, although which is the largest contributing factor is still up for debate. It is therefore important that more research is undertaken to decide what measures could be taken to halt, and hopefully reverse, this long-term decline.
The Mammal Society is involved in several projects aiming to understand the loss of this much-loved mammal, including key citizen science research. You can take part in the #HogWatch2018 survey and help us with our research up until 1 December 2018.