So many hogs…
23rd September 2018 at 10:46 pm #12012
I have A LOT of hogs in the garden…and i mean A BIG LOT. This is great i know, but obviously something around here is very right for them. Back in the seventies, i was used to seeing hogs, at least 3 or 4 a week maybe…and that was when the hov population was doing better than it is today, nationally. But on average, we currently have a least, lord knows, 3/4 hogs in the garden at any one time, from 8.30pm through to about 5.30am. (We have wildlife cams set up around the place). We do leave food out and the garden is not enclosed so hogs roam freely. It’s also an urban area with some pockets of woodland close by (and the M6 motorway).Any one else seeing numbers like this? Just curious….23rd September 2018 at 10:54 pm #12015
Also…it is not the same 3 or 4 hogs we are continually seeing. There are MANY individuals, all shapes and sizes…but i couldn’t possibly guess how many. I just know there are a lot…24th September 2018 at 9:15 am #12019
Wow, that is a lot! I can’t match that all year, my numbers vary, but on one occasion (that I know of) I had 6 in the garden at the same time. Last year’s record was 7. I can’t however get close to 4 all night long every night, that’s just not fair!24th September 2018 at 9:41 am #12020
Its lovely to hear of increase in numbers – hopefully its as a result of improved environment and or support for them locally.
I cant help but wonder though if it may be related to any ‘local’ developments that may be happening around you? this would certainly result in them upping sticks and moving away from diggers and traffic and push hem into areas you wouldn’t normally see them appearing in.
Could this be a reason for it near you do you think?
Does your local council and planning department have an environmental Policy for continued support of wildlife? They are required to – and it in it will make claims that require them to monitor wildlife numbers and ensure they develop in ways that support it. trouble is – saying and doing are two very different things – perhaps you could challenge them on it?
I’ve probably gone off on a tangent again – but its proving to be a real issue and one that councils and planners need to be held to account over – because not taking action now will simply eliminate hog survival opportunities in urban areas.24th September 2018 at 2:39 pm #12035
I had an influx in June / July. A local hedgehog rescue had released quite a few pairs near me locally so I suspect for me that was the reason. They decided to visit my garden.24th September 2018 at 2:51 pm #12040
also a good point Speedy123 – larger rescues will release in large batches often which could be a reason for sudden number surges.24th September 2018 at 8:42 pm #12046
It was my gut feeling that these numbers were somewhat unusual. Having only lived in this house since March of this year, i can’t say if it is a sudden influx or the numbers have been good for sometime. I get mixed responses from neighbours on the numbers. Some are aware that the population is healthy, others ‘haven’t seen a hedgehog in years’ …and unbelievably the previous owner of our property (lived here 33 years) had only seen ONE!!!
There hasn’t been any local development to explain the influx…but what does concern me is the proposed link road that is planed for very near by. I shall certainly challenge the development planners on provision for wildlife, Jan-Marie and provide evidence of the hog population to add weight.
Speedy123…i am not aware of any local release sites, but, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any neccessarily. There could well be. The hogs are definitely nesting elsewhere, as i’m pretty sure there aren’t any living in the garden. So the ones i see are purely visitors, popping in for a sure meal. And as someone mentioned in a previous post…i too have people in to feed the hogs when i’m on holiday. I can’t not, knowing they probably drop by just for snackies!!!😋25th September 2018 at 9:18 am #12052
It is good to hear that you have lots of hogs there. However, I would just mention that it is very difficult to say how many hogs are actually visiting if you are relying on camera evidence, unless you are able to identify the hedgehogs by their natural markings.
One hedgehog can and often does return to an area, including feeding areas, multiple times in one night. For instance I frequently have more than 100 videos from one camera, until after 5 in the morning, but I know that there are only in fact 3 hedgehogs visiting at the moment – because I can recognise them. Hedgehogs are notorious for being able to change their shape and on camera, in particular, can often look variable sizes and shapes. It is very easy to think they are different hedgehogs from size and shape alone, when they aren’t and it isn’t a reliable way to differentiate them.
Having said that, a local population can consist of 12 hedgehogs with more when hoglets are around. (although it seems very unlikely that they would all visit your garden on the same night on a regular basis) 3 or 4 hogs in the garden at one time is not unusual. But, that it is why it is so worrying that hedgehogs are being released in such large numbers in certain areas. I just hope that the people doing the releasing have thoroughly researched the area before releasing, including attempting to make contact with any local hedgehog watchers. Otherwise if hedgehogs are released where there is an already healthy population, both the releasees and the original population could be put at risk. In the natural way of things, the population would adapt to the conditions in the area and would naturally settle at numbers which the local habitat could support.
Evidence suggests that the hog population is not doing any better. So, having taken into account the things I mentioned above, if you really do have a large population, it may be that you have just been lucky and found somewhere where there is an already existing healthy population. Or, as others have mentioned, some have been released.
I think your neighbours who are aware that there was a healthy population are likely to be more reliable than the ones who seldom saw hogs. Some people just don’t look to see if there are any hogs around and many tend not to venture into the garden at night.
The important thing is that you have hedgehogs visiting on a regular basis and I hope that you continue to enjoy their visits.29th September 2018 at 11:04 pm #12170
Yes I agree, it is hard to be accurate on numbers, but i can identify at least 10 and of course there are others that have no distiguishing features as such (or rather, not any i can pick out just yet). Young have appeared too and again, they’re hard to tell apart.
Some are turning up marked again too. I have posted on a local blog about it in the hope that whoever is doing it, will stop! Lots of shares, but no one admitting to it or anyone claiming to know who is. But hopefully the locals are now educated.
I thought there may have been some mention of someone releasing hogs nearby in response to my blog…but nothing!
Leads me to think, we simply have a good population!30th September 2018 at 8:45 am #12171
I’m really glad to hear you are identifying the hogs by their natural markings. Hopefully, you will still be able to recognise some of them when they return from hibernation.
10 sounds quite a reasonable number to me, although maybe not all at the same time! I think the most I ever had here at one time was seven and some of those could have been older hoglets. (That was without the help of a camera). It may be that numbers increased, where you are, because they took a bit of time to find you. Now they know they’re on to a good thing they keep visiting!
With that number of hogs visiting, you have an ideal opportunity to observe their interactions. I was lucky that I had several years with lots of hogs visiting and was able to learn a lot about their interactions during that time. Although, I have to say, it is possible to learn more if watching them in actual time, rather than on camera, as they don’t so often disappear out of frame! All fascinating behaviour to see unrolling, right in front of me, in my own garden. Experiences I treasure and I hope you are able to observe similar things with the hogs there.
I hope they are not released hogs, because that could put the local population at risk. I have never understood why so many hogs are being released other than where they came from and Stef has recently drawn our attention to some information that the BHPS have written about this. https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/BHPS-Guidance-For-relasing-Rehabilitated-Hedgehogs.pdf
Good luck with all the hogs. I hope they all continue to visit, even if they may be eating you out of house and home!30th September 2018 at 10:24 am #12172
One of my local rescue centres have said they may bring hedgehogs for release to me from a different area as there is a theory that the gene pool needs to be widened.
We haven’t had any to release but if we do I will speak to them about this.
Hoglips – You must be getting through lots of food. We have been using ARK hedgehog food (not the muesli) and its £29.75 for 10kg with free delivery.1st October 2018 at 9:29 am #12209
If I were you, I would run them off a copy of Guidance for releasing rehabilitated hedgehogs. It isn’t only the BHPS, but also British
Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (BWRC), The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Vale Wildlife Hospital (VWH) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Dr Nigel Reeve and Dr Pat Morris. People who are experts about hedgehogs who have collectively written this guidance.1st October 2018 at 1:54 pm #12214
Thanks simbo65…i certainly am getting through a good chunk of food. I’ll give Ark a look.
And this is a little clip from last night (hope it works)…just as a typical example of hogs visiting. And no biffing for a change. I would say these 3 are not ones i could ID at a glance. I may have seen them before…but who knows!
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