Home › Forums › Hedgehog tales › Shock in the night with Hedgehog and Badger (hedgie okay) › Reply To: Shock in the night with Hedgehog and Badger (hedgie okay)
Hi Paddy penn
I know there are lots of figures bandied around, about badger populations. I’m not sure how accurate these figures are, any more than the figures for hedgehog populations, due to the difficulties in assessing the numbers, etc. 88%, on the face of it, sounds a lot, but is fairly meaningless on it’s own – from what baseline, where do these figures come from, etc. In any event, I don’t believe one species should be played off against the other. Both species face problems with habitat loss, etc. Both are used as pawns in various arguments and, as PTES say:
‘ …. hedgehogs face many other challenges and it would be wrong to focus on this issue and distract from others. ….’.
I seriously don’t think hedgehogs need to be the losers if we can improve and expand their available habitat and that badgers must come very low down the list of problems hedgehogs, in general, face.
I hope you are managing to get some sleep. I know it must be really difficult to ignore any potential screams, but it could really turn you into a ‘mad thing’ if you are (a) constantly listening out for them and (b) permanently ready to jump out and run to the rescue, whether you are actually in a position to rescue them or not. You say you have already protected your own garden. Better that you try to get a good night’s sleep so that you are fit and able to try to recruit all your neighbours to the hedgehog cause.
Although, I have to admit that this crazy hog person ‘supervises’ most of hog feeding time (from inside the house) which means that I would know if any problem visitors arrive. But I only feed for a few hours each night – it is supposed to be only ‘supplementary’ feeding, after all – and it gives me a good opportunity to get to know the hogs and their behaviours (from a respectful distance).
I do wonder whether some wild hedgehogs are becoming too habituated to humans. We are predators and it could lead to them becoming too trusting of other predators. It might be something to be extra cautious about, especially if there are badgers around. In his book ‘Hedgehogs’ Pat Morris says in relation to a study of over-wintered youngsters and particularly in relation to their predation by badgers:
‘ …. The risk might have been increased because our animals were accustomed to being caught and handled. They might have been insufficiently wary of ‘attack’ and several barely bothered to roll up when they were caught for weighing each night. This would be dangerously casual behaviour when accosted by a badger. ….’
He also went on to say:
‘ … The killing was probably the work of one badger passing by, as all the predation took place within a few nights. ….’ This might be a slightly reassuring thought for you.
I don’t know enough about badgers to know, but there have been a few people on the forum recently saying that a badger has appeared in their area. I wonder whether it is a time of year when badgers go ‘roaming’? Do you know whether it is more than one badger? It would be nice if it disappeared as suddenly as it came. But, whatever the reason for it’s presence, I still think the way to go is to link as many gardens as you can to create a big hedgehog safe space – badgers or no badgers.