Hedgehogs and badgers
Untangling the roles of prey availability, habitat quality and predation as predictors of hedgehog abundance
Hedgehogs are in trouble, but understanding why is complicated. Food availability, habitat suitability and predators, such as badgers, all influence hedgehog abundance. However, disentangling these factors is a challenge.
There are many places where hedgehogs and badgers live alongside each other, and always have done. And hedgehogs have declined in some places with few badgers. Does an increase in badgers in other rural areas pose a direct threat through predation? Or perhaps an indirect threat as they compete for similar food species? It’s something of a puzzle.
We’re funding a team at Nottingham Trent University to explore habitat features, food availability, and frequency of hedgehog predation by badgers. The findings will help us give the most effective advice to landowners looking out for hedgehogs.