Threats to Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs face many dangers. These can include;
- Strimmers, shears, mowers & other garden equipment. Use a long stick to gently check long grass for hedgehogs (& other wildlife) before using any machinery.
- Bonfires. Build the bonfire the same day you light it, & check for hedgehogs with a torch before lighting.
- Compost heaps. Please check before turning them over.
- Poison. Slug pellets can cause horrific suffering & almost always death in hedgehogs.
- Traps. Even 'humane' rat traps can capture & injure hedgehogs accidentally.
- Ponds, pools, buckets, drains & uncovered holes. Ensure a hedgehog can climb out of water by putting in a ramp, rocks or create sloped edges.
- Entanglement in litter & garden rubbish. Always dispose of your litter responsibly. Do not leave rubbish on the ground.
- Netting, such as garden & football netting. Place netting at least 30 cm off the ground to avoid hedgehogs getting tangled in it. Put away football nets when not in use.
- Dog attacks. Supervise your dog after dark or restrain with a lead &/or muzzle them if they are likely to bite a hedgehog.
- Human attacks (deliberate harm). Educate children about hedgehogs & teach them to respect wildlife. Report any violent behaviour towards hedgehogs.
- Vehicles/roads. Drive extra carefully at night. Be vigilant.
- Internal & external parasites. Hedgehogs usually have some parasites from their natural food & environment, & this is normal & healthy. However, if a hedgehog becomes unwell or injured, their parasite burden is likely to increase & become a problem for the hedgehog.
- Badger attacks. Badgers sometimes predate hedgehogs when food sources are scarce. However, there is plenty of evidence that badgers & hedgehogs can live in harmony with one another. Hedgehogs are declining at the same rate in areas where there are badgers, compared to areas where there are not badgers. Based on current scientific research, HHR does not believe that badgers contribute to the hedgehog decline.