Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) will partner Cornwall Mammal Group (CMG), Prickles and Paws Hedgehog Rescue and the University of Exeter on a series of hedgehog surveys in May 2019.
Hedgehogs are in trouble. In the 1950’s the population was estimated at 30million. Now it is thought to be just over 522,000 with a dramatic 50% fall in numbers since 2000.
This fall has been attributed to several factors – the main being habitat destruction and fragmentation as well as an increase in roads and a decrease in insect numbers.
There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the hedgehog and how it uses the rural landscape. With more research it is hoped that landowners, farmers and the public can understand how best to manage the land to support hedgehog populations. That is why CWT is collaborating on a hedgehog monitoring project.
Following the methodology used by the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) a group of volunteers will place several tunnels set on selected CWT reserves and then check for any hedgehog footprints once a day for 5 days.
The survey will be conducted in Mid-May to coincide with National Hedgehog week.
Hopefully this survey will give us a better understanding of the state of Cornwall's hedgehog population that can be repeated annually to allow us to monitor population changes.