October 30 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 17, 2014
The wildlife charity behind a pioneering population survey of hedgehogs has said the initial response to their campaign has been “just brilliant”.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is asking people to record their sightings of live and dead hedgehogs over the next year to help focus their future conservation efforts.
The project, a response to a dramatic decline in UK hedgehog numbers over the last decade, had already received 1,600 recordings by yesterday morning – an increase of 1,000 on last week’s figures. The majority of sightings appear to be in urban areas, including Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, where the survey was launched over the last two weekends.
Kerry Stranix, communications manager at the trust, said as well as sightings recorded on their website’s map, about 200 records needed to be inputted following telephone calls.
She added: “We haven’t been able to analyse the data yet, so I can’t say how many of the records are live sightings or dead sightings or historical sightings.
“But in terms of people just getting involved with the campaign, the take up has been just brilliant. I think it shows how important hedgehogs are to people. Certainly from talking to people at the launches in Ipswich and Bury we know people like to tell their stories.
“I think this campaign has touched a nerve and we’re asking for more of the same please really.”
It is believed that hedgehog populations UK-wide have fallen by at least 30% over the last ten years due to habitat fragmentation and other factors.
To take part in the survey visit suffolkwildlifetrust.org/hedgehogs or those with no internet access can phone 01473 890089.