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Marking hedgehogs

13th September 2021

We love reading your weird and wonderful hedgehog stories, and it’s great to hear that many of you have spotted hogs in the garden this summer. Nightly activity can be very captivating and while it’s interesting to identify different hedgehogs, we do not encourage the marking of hedgehogs. The practice of painting spines to tell individuals apart is unnecessary, stressful for the hedgehogs and can even harm them. Hedgehog carers have reported animals brought in covered in paint this summer, sometimes even red paint which is mistaken for blood by finders. Hedgehogs are wild animals and should ideally be left undisturbed, unless you think one may be injured or unwell.

As you watch visiting hedgehogs, natural markings and characteristics become clearer over time. This can allow you to spot different visiting individuals. Another idea is to buy a wildlife camera. You can leave cameras in the garden overnight, and they use motion-sensors to record hedgehogs (and other visiting wildlife). This will allow you to get up close and personal without disturbing hedgehogs. Check out some trail cam tips and recommendations from NatureSpy.

Spotted a hedgehog this summer? Remember to log your sighting on the BIG Hedgehog Map.