EUROPEAN HEDGEHOG CONSERVATION STATUS:
- Least Concern globally
- Vulnerable to extinction under the IUCN Red List for British Mammals.
- Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981
- Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
HABITAT: Hedgehogs thrive in manmade settings such as farmland, gardens, orchards and parks, as well as woodland edges and grasslands.
IMPORTANCE: Not only are hedgehogs adorable and one of Britain’s most loved species, but they are also at risk of going extinct in the UK. This means it is vital that we do all we can to protect them. They maintain healthy ecosystems by controlling insect populations and are loved by gardeners for eating all the slugs!
THREATS: Loss of habitat is a severe problem for hedgehogs. Although they thrive in garden environments, they need leafy cover, hedgerows, and plenty of flowering foliage. Continued urbanization leaves little space for this, and the putting up of fences between gardens means hedgehogs cannot travel to more suitable habitats.
FUN FACT: Did you know you can help hedgehogs by putting a small hole in the bottom of your garden fence (if your neighbours allow!) to create a ‘hedgehog highway’ and marking sightings on the big hedgehog map: https://bighedgehogmap.org/ !