Hedgehog population in "serious decline" in the UK

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  1. The report, The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018, claims that hedgehog numbers have fallen by around half since the year 2000.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) along with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) have published a new report on the state of hedgehog populations in the United Kingdom.

The organizations suggest that populations in rural areas are worst affected, with urban areas showing a slowing of population reductions.

The European hedgehog.  By Michael Gäbler (CC by SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

It is suggested that rural hedgehogs are having to contend with the effects of intensive farming, such as the removal of hedgerows to create larger fields for crops, the use of pesticides which kill the hedgehogs’ food sources, and faster moving traffic on rural roads which may increase the chances of roadkill.

Urban hedgehogs are said to be doing better, possibly due to efforts to improve garden habitats and connectivity.

The report is an outline of findings from three separate surveys;  the BTO Garden BirdWatch survey which included a count of mammals, the Mammals on Roads survey which counted roadkill and Living with Mammals which surveyed 1,198 sites where mammals would be expected to be found.

BHPS and PTES are encouraging people to get involved in helping hedgehogs, for example, by creating holes in walls and fences so that hedgehogs can pass through to neighboring gardens.

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