When we think of British wildlife, one prickly creature comes to mind for many of us; the European Hedgehog. Hedgehogs are much loved and valued symbol of the British natural heritage and were voted Britain’s favourite mammal in 2016. They were once a common part of the UK landscape but recent have seen a shocking decline in their population. Cornwall Wildlife Trust and ERCCIS are looking for enthusiastic citizen scientists to help our Cornish hedgehogs by telling them when and where hedgehogs are being seen across Cornwall. The ORKS App and website is the ideal way to do this.
A report recently published ‘The State of Britain’s Hedgehog 2018’ shows almost half of rural populations have disappeared in 15 years, and urban populations have declined by almost a quarter. Hedgehogs are facing increasing pressure from habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change and fatalities caused by road traffic and other human activities.
‘Operation Hedgehog’, set up by the Cornwall Biodiversity Initiative and coordinated by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, aims to raise awareness of the decline in hedgehogs, to get citizen scientists involved to help better understand the status of hedgehogs in Cornwall and encouraging local people to create better habitats for hedgehogs in their garden. Sightings submitted to the ORKS website and the App feed into Operation Hedgehog, providing vital information to help protect our prickly friends.