Reporting hedgehog tracks?
30th March 2022 at 9:15 pm #36309
I live in a village surrounded by farmland, and I regularly see hedgehogs in my garden, thanks to the trail cams I’ve set up.
Recent surveys suggest that the hedgehog population is declining in rural areas. I do a lot of walking in the locally and often spot fresh hedgehog tracks in soft mud, typically at gateways, road verges and so on. Many of these signs are well away from habitation and give the impression that the population may be larger than we suppose?
My question is: can such sightings of fresh tracks be recorded as a ‘live’ sighting on the Big Hedgehog Map??31st March 2022 at 11:17 am #36310
It’s good to hear there are hogs around there.
I’m not sure with regard to the Big Hedgehog Map – just tracks may be a problem, actual sightings maybe being more reliable from the general population. (But, male hogs, in particular, can travel up to 2 miles a night so could spread their tracks quite widely. Also at this time of year it may be that some younger males may be trying to move to a different local population.) I’ll try to find out for you and there may be some other way that track observations might be useful.
Re. hogs in the countryside, it probably depends quite a lot on what sort of countryside you have around you. If there is suitable habitat for hogs in the countryside around you, (i.e. woodland edge, hedges, pasture, etc)., there is no reason why hogs shouldn’t be there. But large areas of the countryside, in general, are not suitable habitat for the hogs – i.e. large expanses of monoculture, few or no hedges, etc. They need to have potential nesting areas, as well as being able to find sufficient food.
Gardens, whether they are in country villages or in suburban areas provide an ideal habitat for hogs, mimicking the woodland edge and hedgerow areas which are their preferred habitat – so it’s not surprising that many hogs have taken to those sorts of areas. Not forgetting, of course, the other advantages of supplementary food as well as water sources offered by humans!
I’ll get back to you re. tracks and Big Hedgehog Map. Meanwhile, happy hog watching!1st April 2022 at 5:58 pm #36327
I have now heard back that they only want actual hedgehog sightings on the Big Hedgehog Map. So, sadly sightings of tracks cannot be recorded as a ‘live’ sightings.
There are however two surveys which you might like to consider taking part in:
Living with Mammals: https://ptes.org/get-involved/surveys/garden/living-with-mammals/
(I will put the link for the second in a separate post – the Forum doesn’t seem to like more than one link per post!)
Apparently they are used when PTES produce reports like the recent State of Britain’s Hedgehogs reports.
If you have any questions about those you can contact the Hedgehog Officer at PTES (email bottom left of this page).1st April 2022 at 6:00 pm #36328
This is the second link:
Mammals on Roads: https://ptes.org/get-involved/surveys/road/
Good luck. I hope all goes well.5th April 2022 at 9:24 pm #36396
Thank you for your very detailed replies and associated links!
I’ve been away for a few days, so only just caught up with your posts.
With regard to your comment about suitable habitat, it has been noticeable that the tracks I’ve seen are in areas of small coppice and grazed fields, where i would guess food and cover are plentiful.
I thought that reporting tracks might not count as a live sighting, so I’ve been chatting to the landowners for pemission to place camera traps, and I’m hopeful to have some proper sightings to report soon.
Meanwhile, at home, in our estate, we have two or three hogs passing through nightly, which is great news☺
Many thanks6th April 2022 at 6:29 pm #36401
That’s a brilliant idea asking the landowners if you can put up some camera traps. It sounds as if there is some fairly decent habitat around there – fingers crossed for some interesting footage. It might even encourage the landowners to make it even more hog friendly. There is some information for farmers: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/farmersadvice/
Great that you already have 3 hogs in your estate and some of the females may not be out of hibernation yet, so hopefully even more to come.
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