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Hedgehogs have been voted the most loved British wildlife species by the British public, yet surprisingly their population is in serious decline. Hedgehogs live both rurally and in urban areas across the British Isles, although not present on some of the Scottish Islands. It is believed, according to a report by ‘The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs’ that from the year 2000 the rural British Hedgehog population has declined by at least half. A study by ‘The People’s Trust for Endangered Species’ found that the UK’s urban population is believed to have declined by a third since 2000.
At one point in time, the Hedgehog was once a common sight in British gardens and rural countryside but sadly, it is declining at quite a speedy rate.
So, what is the cause of this decline? It is believed that populations are in decline because of the loss of habitat, including hedgerows. Green grassland, agricultural land use and urban spaces have all overtaken the Hedgehogs natural habitat. Higher traffic densities are also believed to be a problem with many individuals being killed on our country or urban roads. The reduction in food resources, which is primarily invertebrates, is also a major issue.
There are a number of ways the British public can help.
These are only some of the ways we can help conserve our much loved Hedgehog population. By providing or encouraging more natural habitat across rural and urban UK should allow a population increase, not only in Hedgehogs, but also our invertebrate species.
If you enjoyed reading this article, then you may like some of our courses here at ACS Distance Education. We have a fantastic range of wildlife courses, including:
Certificate In Environmental and Animal Studies