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I now know where all my hedghogs have gone

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings I now know where all my hedghogs have gone

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by kim.
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  • #10007

    kim

    2.5 years of feeding Hedgehogs, having 5 houses in my garden, seeing them all with their different characters, have babies, then over the months seeing them decline to just one. Woken up by horrendous noise one night. Looked out of the window. Large badger trying to get hold of a hedgehog. (the noise was from the hedgehog not the badger) Given where we live this is the very last thing I expected to see at 4.45 on my front lawn. (note I did not need a torch as the street lighting is like daylight around here) now this explains everything. The amazing thing was how brazen the badger was. Within about 30 sec, falling over just about everything in site I was down stairs, standing on the front lawn with not a lot on but some garden gloves staring at this badger. Thinking what do I do now, it looks like it has some mean teeth. Seemed like ages, I suppose I expected it to run away like a fox might, but the badger only very slowly backed off and ambled off in not a lot of hurry. Hedgehog looked ok, but can’t have been, hard to tell. Picked him up and put him safe under a bush in the back garden. The back garden being badger proof. He was not there in the morning and I have not seen any hedgehogs at all since. This was 3 weeks ago. I have gone from looking at a minimum of 5 a night on my patio this year to nothing. You don’t see any hedgehogs squashed on the road these days, just badgers.
    I emailed the local badger association for their thoughts because I considered it really strange that we should have badgers here in this location, plus that it was so brazen and not frightened. Emailed them twice over a few weeks, so far no reply. I am now beginning to believe that all I have been doing over the months/years is feeding up hedgehogs so that badgers can kill them for fun or for food. From what I understand, badgers have no natural predators. Their population has multiplied significantly over the years even with the past culling. Unless something is going to be done to limit the badger numbers, all those people out there like me are fighting a loosing battle. From the way I see it, the Pirelli tyre is no longer the biggest threat to a hedgehog. The badger is.

    #10017

    Hi Kim,

    So sad to hear your story. I think part of the problem is that it only takes one rogue badger to develop a taste for hedgehog and wipe out large numbers. I don’t know if you have been watching the burrowers with Chris Packham, but the badger expert on the show Chris Cheeseman, has counted the number of worms eaten by a badger in a typical two hour feeding session at a staggering 1300… that equates to over 3kg in weight! It doesn’t take much to work out that if the average hedgehog weighs in at around 1kg, a badger could potentially eat more than one per night! On a more positive note, male hedgehogs tend to travel far afield; some of ours have gone AWOL for weeks at a time and then returned. Also, if they sense that there is a hungry badger in the area they will probably keep well away, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have all been consumed.

    I don’t want to demonise badgers, they have lived alongside hedgehogs for millions of years, the fact that they are now eating hedgehogs is probably because of competition for ever dwindling food resources and habitat. They are being pushed into closer and closer proximity to each other, as more and more of our green and pleasant land disappears under the digger.

    I hope your regulars show up soon, keep us posted…

    #10018

    Hi Kim, I share your anguish. Few years back I had a badger come in the garden and take a hedgehog. I remember it was a very dry spring, and it had to come up from the woods. Looked like a juvenile badger to me. More than likely found my garden by accident. Came three nights in a row. The last night I shouted at it, was one thirty in the morning. Lucky for me have not seen a badger since. There is a sett down in the woods here, but that was the first time I had ever seen one this far up. Can only conclude with the very dry spring, the worms were farther down in the ground there making it harder to find food, so had to forage farther afield.
    They don’t normally like human contact and run away, yours may be an urban badger so see humans on a regular basis, plus they may be fed by your neighbours, thus encouraging them.

    Willpar.

    #10021

    kim

    Hi Penny, no I did not see the Chris Packham program, interesting, it also explains why my front lawn has been dug up so much, I thought it was the hedgehogs until I did some research and realized badgers eat worms as well, I did not realise they eat so many though! 3kg heck
    Whenever man gets involved the balance of nature is disturbed.
    Hi Willpar, the neighbours around here are anything but interested in nature. They won’t be feeding badgers, no way. Even broaching the subject of a few holes through fences for the hedgehogs was like pulling hens teeth and met with lifted eyebrows. 🙂
    The badger set locations it seems are guarded with great secrecy by the badger society. Would have been nice if they had taken the time to reply to one of my emails to hear their thoughts.

    I don’t want to demonise badgers, but badgers are anything but in decline and hedgehogs are. The building of 1000s houses that is going on here on what was so called green belt land is crazy. In which case they should be culling them or relocating badgers farther afield. My experience of badgers to date has only been when on holiday down in Devon one night and they were a pretty nervous lot. The one I saw was more brazen than a fox. Which to me is a worrying sign.

    #10022

    kim

    Hi Penny, no I did not see the Chris Packham program, interesting, it also explains why my front lawn has been dug up so much, I thought it was the hedgehogs until I did some research and realized badgers eat worms as well, I did not realise they eat so many though! 3kg heck
    Whenever man gets involved the balance of nature is disturbed.
    Hi Willpar, the neighbours around here are anything but interested in nature. They won’t be feeding badgers, no way. Even broaching the subject of a few holes through fences for the hedgehogs was like pulling hens teeth and met with lifted eyebrows. 🙂
    The badger set locations it seems are guarded with great secrecy by the badger society. Would have been nice if they had taken the time to reply to one of my emails to hear their thoughts.

    I don’t want to demonise badgers, but badgers are anything but in decline and hedgehogs are. The building of 1000s houses that is going on here on what was so called green belt land is crazy. In which case they should be culling them or relocating badgers farther afield. My experience of badgers to date has only been when on holiday down in Devon one night and they were a pretty nervous lot. The one I saw was more brazen than a fox. Which to me is a worrying sign.
    Many thanks for the replies,

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