It is widely acknowledged that hedgehog numbers have fallen dramatically over recent years - ask your Grandparents about how easy we were to spot when they were younger, and you'll soon appreciate the differences in the chances of actually coming across me or one of my prickly chums.
The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)*, are a charity which has been running counts of hedgehogs for over a decade and compiled the most recent figures. They believe there are now fewer than a million hedgehogs left in the UK, down from an estimated 2 million in the mid-1990s and 36 million in the 1950s.
This fall is a dramatic one that is based on various things, and it is likely to carry on. Whilst we still survive well in some areas, in other areas our numbers continue to fall rapidly... (discussed further in the Hedgehog Issues page). It has even been suggested that us hedgehogs might now be declining in the UK at the same rate as tigers are globally - at around 5% a year, both in rural and urban habitats.
The number of birds and hedgehogs in the UK has fallen dramatically as a result of climate change and extreme weather, according to some reports.
As heavier rains and flooding cause a variety of issues (including habitat and food loss), warmer winters have affected species including hedgehogs and dormice, causing them to come out of hibernation at the wrong time of year. Once us hedgehogs wake up, we can't get back to sleep properly and are in great peril if we can't find enough food.
We may be one of the UK's favourite wild animals, but the closer us hedgehogs get to you, the more we get hurt. It's not intentional of course, but the damage done to hedgehogs can often be easily avoided.
There are many 'man made' issues that are contributing to the decline of us hedgehogs and you can read more about what these are in the Hedgehog Issues page.
Every year, thousands of hedgehog casualties arrive at wildlife hospitals up and down the UK to be treated for accidents and injuries. Add on to that the numbers of poor hogs you see squashed on the roads and we've got a REAL problem!!
Please visit my Helping Hedgehogs page now to see what you can do to improve things for us hedgehogs.
*Click here for a link to the PTES and their research information.