Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Badgers 10 : Hedgehogs 0

The Farmers union of Wales has warned that the over protection of badgers could lead to hedgehogs becoming as rare as red squirrels.

Referring to figures released by the Mammals Trust, which suggest that hedgehog numbers have fallen by more than 20 percent in the last four years, they say that ongoing research funded by Defra, and carried out by Richard Young also points to a massive rise in badger numbers as the source of the problem.

Mr. Young has suggested that high numbers of badgers would have "serious consequences for the persistance of hedgehogs in rural areas of the UK". He continued, "Surveys predict that badgers can achieve sufficiently high densities to exclude hedgehogs from rural habitats altogether".

Previous studies in the early nineties showed that badger predation may be influential in shaping hedghog populations, but the present study aims to investigate the effect of badgers on hedgehog abundance and distribution on a larger scale. Using 5 of the RBCT areas the study will examine in depth, the response to manipulation of the badger population density over a 3 year period.

The abstract can be viewed at :
www.ehrg.org/2004abstracts

The Effect of Badgers on Hedgehog Abundance and Distribution. Richard Young.



3 comments:

George said...

How many dead hedgehogs have you see on the road recently? They used to be very common. Seen plenty of dead badgers though.

emily said...

Ever thought that might be because there are now more roads in britain than ever before, more encroaching (roads and houses) on the country. There are still plenty of hedgehogs killed on roads, I'm a vet nurse, I rehabiliatate them afterwards

Anonymous said...

Clever girl. Rehabilitating dead hedgehogs.