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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Marking Hedgehogs? Reply To: Marking Hedgehogs?

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Hi mousieteddy11

If you have read the previous things I have written about this matter, you will have seen that I have said that the main problem is the excessive marking of hedgehogs – where some hedgehogs’ spines are covered with large areas of substance with sometimes half or more of their spines being covered. Also the large blobs, zigzags and criss crosses, etc. In my previous post I did say ‘certain of the markings’ and it was, in particular, the excessive marking to which my comments there referred.

You might like to see on On 23rd March.

If you have not seen similar sorts of marking before, you may well find it shocking – and those are only a few. I don’t think people can be blamed for feeling upset if the hedgehogs they have known, in some cases for many years, turn up with excessive marking. You may well be upset yourself if it was the hedgehogs you knew. (Although you may not know that you knew them – your own marks could have been covered up).

I, personally, prefer not to see hedgehogs marked at all and see no need for it (except for properly organised scientific studies and for the benefit of the hedgehog or hedgehogs as a whole). All the sorts of things you mention could have been achieved/observed by identifying hogs naturally – and are, by many people. However, very small discreet marks are not so much of a problem. (Although water based paint is usually recommended as opposed to nail varnish, because it is less smelly, even after drying). It should be possible to mark a hedgehog in a way that no-one other than the marker would even realise it had been artificially marked and it sounds as if this may be what you are trying to do. I am sure people would not find it so distressing if a hedgehog was only marked with a tiny discreet mark.

From what you say, you are trying to mark the hedgehogs without causing distress to them. But, to achieve the level of excessive marking (similar to the photographs) I am not sure the same could be said. If you see the photographs in the tweet mentioned above you will get an idea of what I mean.

You may be interested to hear that I recently spoke to someone at the RSPCA regarding this subject. The person I spoke to was surprised to hear that people marked hedgehogs. Their comment was something along the lines that they knew people marked sheep, but they were animals which belonged to someone, which wild hedgehogs did not.

My original post in this topic was to try to encourage people to have a go at identifying hedgehogs by their natural markings and to this end, I tried to give tips about that. (But, as I have said elsewhere, clearly not everyone can or will sign up to this, so I included tips about marking hedgehogs appropriately.) Many people think that hedgehogs all look the same, but that really isn’t the case. It really can be rewarding identifying naturally. I have no special talents and many other people recognise hedgehogs naturally, as I do. Perhaps you may give it a try – you might surprise yourself.

I can tell from what you have written that you care about the hedgehogs and I am pleased to hear that hedgehog numbers there are improving again. Sorry to hear about poor Turquoise. It is distressing finding a dead hedgehog, especially one you have got to know.