Wildlife charities are calling on members of the public to become citizen scientists in a bid to save the endangered hedgehog.
Hedgehogs in rural areas have plummeted by half since the millennium and a third in urban areas, according to a 2018 report entitled The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs.
Factors contributing to this decline include loss of hedgerows and permanent grasslands, the intensification of agriculture and larger field sizes and the use of pesticides.
A campaign by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species is urging people to help stem the decreasing numbers of a creature voted Britain’s favourite mammal in a Royal Society of Biology poll.
Record of behaviour
The Hedgehogs After Dark initiative, which is part of the Hedgehog Street campaign, encourages people to record the behaviours of the spiky backed creatures.
If, at dusk and after dark, hedgehog behaviours such as feeding or drinking, travelling across a garden, swimming in a pond, mating, grooming or nesting are spotted then campaigners want to hear about them.
Connect with wildlife
Grace Johnson, hedgehog officer for Hedgehog Street, said: “Lockdown is a great opportunity to watch, connect with and help our wildlife, so if you’re lucky enough to see a hedgehog in your garden, we’d love to hear about it and to find out what he or she is up to!”
The findings will allow conservationists to discover, and better understand, the hidden lives of the UK’s hedgehogs.
To take part in the latest campaign visit the webpage www.hedgehogstreet.org/Hedgehogs-After-Dark
(Photo by Cate Barrow for Hedgehog Street).