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UK hedgehogs ‘vulnerable to extinction’

30th July 2020

Today sees the publication of the Red List for British Mammals, which shows that UK hedgehogs are ‘vulnerable to extinction‘.

Photo by Erin Black

The announcement today comes from the Mammal Society, and states that one quarter of native UK mammals are now at risk of extinction. While globally hedgehogs are of ‘least concern’, the UK population is now classed as ‘vulnerable’.

See the full Red List for British Mammals here.

Following the publication of the State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report in 2018, it’s clear that UK hedgehogs are in trouble. Here at Hedgehog Street, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the plight of UK hedgehogs. We aim to inspire and enable people to get involved and make changes in their local area.

What does this mean for hedgehogs?

This announcement and official acknowledgement that hedgehogs are vulnerable to extinction, while worrying, is a positive step. It is an opportunity to further enable us to ensure that measures are taken at a local and national level to protect these charismatic and important creatures.

The IUCN’s backing reaffirms the importance of monitoring and the efforts of thousands of volunteers recording species that face an imminent threat of extinction. It is a stark reminder that the extinction crisis is happening not just in rainforests and tropical oceans, but in the countryside and waters of these shores.‘ – People’s Trust for Endangered Species

The recognition of the vulnerable status of the hedgehog is an opportunity. It will give impetus to those of us campaigning to protect the habitats that the hedgehog needs to thrive, and increase the awareness of the importance of connecting those habitats.’  British Hedgehog Preservation Society – read their full statement here.

What can I do to help?

There’s plenty of ways to help UK hedgehogs.

  • Small changes to your garden will make a big difference to hedgehogs, starting with a Hedgehog Highway. These 13cm gaps ensure hedgehogs can move around our urban and suburban environment.
  • Other things you can do in the garden include leaving a ‘wild patch’ and avoiding the use of chemicals. Find out more in our Top Tips guide.
  • Log hedgehog sightings on the BIG Hedgehog Map. All sightings, whether alive, dead or roadkill provide vital data to help us understand the distribution of UK hedgehogs.
  • Sign the Hedgehog Highway petition to ensure that all new build developments in the UK allow suitable access for hedgehogs.
  • Spread the word! Tell friends, family, neighbours and colleagues that hedgehogs need our help.
Photo by Lesley Trask