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I share your sadness on that. It would seem completely unacceptable that we see them disappear as a species in our lifetime and more needs to be done to prevent it.
I had a little look up on the blonde hedgehogs – and was fascinated to read that up to 60% of the hedgehogs on Alderney in the Channel Islands are in fact blonde as they carry a recessive gene. They aren’t albinos though as they have dark eyes – and are known as Leucistic as they lack the skin pigmentation that would make them dark.
Alderney also has a very stable population of hedgehogs – reasons given being that they dont have any natural predators (badgers) or terrorisers (foxes), the roads and use of, are reduced and slower. The Alderney locals are understandably very proud of their blonde hedgehogs and a greater proportion look after them by offering food and water, making them slightly bolder and less likely to run away from human contact. sounds like hoggy heaven!