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The NEW National Hedgehog Monitoring Programme

25th March 2024

We’re delighted to bring you the brand new National Hedgehog Monitoring Programme (NHMP). This ground-breaking project is HERE and the best bit? You can be part of it.

How does it work?

In a world-first, we’re using a combination of trail cameras, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and volunteers to produce robust hedgehog population estimates. We’ve placed networks of wildlife cameras all over Britain to capture pictures of hedgehogs and other wildlife. Once we’ve tagged all of the hedgehogs in the images, we’ll use cutting-edge methods to determine population numbers and monitor how these are changing each year. This will allow us to further focus our conservation efforts and identify at-risk populations and habitats.

Get involved

We need you, our brilliant Hedgehog Champions, to help us spot hedgehogs in the camera images. It’s that simple, but be warned – spotting can be addictive!

Ready to get started? Click below to watch the instruction video.

The detail

The NHMP is a PTES and BHPS-led, Natural England-funded pilot project , in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, London HogWatch, Durham University, MammalWeb, Nottingham Trent University. This is how it works…

  1. Networks of wildlife cameras are placed at sites all over Britain by local volunteer hubs we’re working with. These are organisations like Wildlife Trusts, biological record centres and universities.
  2. After a month, the cameras are collected in and images are uploaded to an online portal called MammalWeb. AI will remove any photos with humans in and volunteer spotters can log in and identify hedgehogs and other wildlife.
  3. Once images are classified, hedgehog density (how many in a given area) can be determined using the newly developed Random Encounter Model (REM) methodology.
  4. As the project progresses, we’ll be able to compare across sites, habitats, and crucially across years. With this population data, we can improve our understanding of changing hedgehog populations, and focus our conservation efforts accordingly.