Hedgehog Population Still Falling



Hedgehog population still falling
10th May 2018

By Karen Pickwick

The UK’s current hedgehog population is estimated to be less than 1 million, down from about 35 million in the 1950s and thought to be still falling at a rate of 5% a year.

As part of Hedgehog Awareness Week 2018 (May 6-12), Ark Wildlife is running a One Million Hedgehogs Photo Competition. Packed with prizes, Ark is calling on everyone with a picture of a hedgehog to submit it.
Director Sean McMenemy said: “We have been supporting the cause of hedgehogs for over 25 years and this year have set ourselves the huge target of one million votes for hedgehogs.
“Hedgehogs are one of our most recognised and loved animals and we think the public will get behind our campaign. They’ll be able to share their own hedgehog photos and view and vote for others, all in one social arena. This has the potential to raise hedgehog awareness to a whole new level.”
The competition can be found at www.arkwildlife.co and through a special panel on their Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/ArkWildlife 
The goal is 1,000 entries, 10,000 photos, 100,000 website visits and 1,000,000 votes – and to encourage entries, Ark Wildlife is giving away prizes, including hedgehog houses, hedgehog food and money-off vouchers for every photo submitted.
Sean said: “We’d love the campaign to go viral and reach as many people as possible but if one garden is made more hedgehog friendly at the end of the campaign, that’s a success.”
 The hedgehog was voted Britain’s National species in 2014 and is one of the best-loved creatures visiting our gardens. Being the only native mammal covered in spines, hedgehogs are easily identified and domestic gardens have become a key habitat for them in recent decades. However, this close proximity with man can also create dangers. Various common injuries can be caused by power tools such as strimmers and lawn mowers, and garden netting and other mesh items such as football goals can trap animals. Hedgehog’s have a habit of sleeping in leaf piles, compost heaps and bonfires and are therefore vulnerable to nasty injuries from garden forks and burns from fires.