Hedgehogs face up to ‘perfect storm’ as they flee countryside

 


Researchers have said hedgehogs, which are increasingly having to move to urban areas, are now present in just a fifth of the countryside (stock picture)
Researchers have said hedgehogs, which are increasingly having to move to urban areas, are now present in just a fifth of the countryside (stock picture)

Hedgehogs are disappearing from the British countryside because they are being devoured by badgers, a study has found.

Researchers said the mammals, which are increasingly having to move to urban areas, are now present in just a fifth of the countryside.

Regular destruction of habitat with heavy agricultural machinery and the use of pesticides in intensive farming are also said to be wiping out the worms, beetles, slugs, caterpillars, earwigs and millipedes they feed on.

In the first study of its kind scientists found the creature inhabited just 21pc of 261 rural sites surveyed across England and Wales. Researchers said the mammals were facing a “perfect storm”, and that there was something “fundamentally wrong with our countryside” in analysis published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’.

document.addEventListener(‘DOMContentLoaded’, function() {
if (!document.querySelectorAll(‘.widget.video.vms’).length) {
var s = document.createElement(‘script’);
s.type = ‘text/javascript’;
s.async = true;
s.src = ‘https://independent.mainroll.com/a/independent_floating_outstream.js?dfp_adunit_l1=InArticleVideo&dfp_adunit_l2=World_News&dfp_adunit_l3=Europe&dfp_adunit_l4=Britain&dart_articleId=34978409&dart_art_ID=34978409&dart_kw=%5B%22Threeyearold%22%2C%22boy%22%2C%22dies%22%2C%22after%22%2C%22being%22%2C%22mauled%22%2C%22by%22%2C%22American%22%2C%22bulldog%22%5D&section=worldnews_europe_britain’;
document.getElementById(‘bb-outstream-37199872’).parentElement.appendChild(s);
}
});

#bb-iawr-inarticle- { clear: both; margin: 0 0 15px; }

Irish Independent

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

(function() {
var zergnet = document.createElement(‘script’);
zergnet.type = ‘text/javascript’; zergnet.async = true;
zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https:” : “http:”) + ‘//www.zergnet.com/zerg.js?id=46430’;
var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr);
})();