Counting hedgehogs is not easy and the best information we have about hedgehog populations is always an estimate.
In the 1950s it was estimated there were about 30 million hedgehogs in Britain. By 1995, that had fallen shockingly to 1,550,000 and the evidence shows that numbers have been declining ever since then.
In the last decade we appear to have lost over a half of our rural hedgehogs and a third from towns and cities. The decline in towns and cities seems to be slowing, but the situation in the countryside is a real concern.
It is now thought that there are less than a million hedgehogs left in Britain; this is only 3% of the estimated 1950 population This kind of decline is not sustainable and we could lose our hedgehogs for good if we don’t do something.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will be conducting a hedgehog citizen science campaign that will begin at the end of this month. They are looking for help in their efforts to save Wiltshire’s hedgehogs. They need volunteers to record hedgehog sightings and to monitor their behaviour and activity.
The data will go to the Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre and will be used to create a map to show where the most dense hedgehog populations can be found in Wiltshire and where to best focus their conservation efforts.
Even something as simple as reporting the hedgehog you glimpsed crossing the road on a single occasion can help; it is all data. Conservation begins by knowing what there is to conserve.
It is time to take action before it is too late.