Record number of hedgehogs spotted during annual count
A record number of over 13,700 hedgehogs were spotted during the annual hedgehog count last weekend, with a record 5,505 people taking part, said animal association Zoogdiervereniging on Thursday. Some 13,379 alive hedgehogs were reported using the platform, tuintelling.nl, and another 334 dead hedgehogs were found.
Last year, 9,400 hedgehogs were counted over the entire weekend.
Participants not only counted hedgehogs in their own gardens, but could also report isolated observations of hedgehogs outside their gardens. Three different types of hedgehogs were reported by observers, who filed 6,126 reports.
Most observations were made in Zuid-Holland, where 1,060 reports were made. That was followed by 954 in Noord-Holland, and 917 in Gelderland. Another 570 were submitted from Utrecht.
The greater awareness of the hedgehog count has had a positive effect on the number of participants, according to the Zoogdiervereniging. “Despite the fact that so many counts have been reported this year, it seems that the hedgehog is not yet doing well,” the association said.
“Unfortunately, the counts from the Netwerk Ecologische Monitoring show that there are far fewer hedgehogs. By collecting as much information as possible about the numbers and distribution of the hedgehog, the Zoogdiervereniging, together with [Hedgehog Protection Netherlands], ensures that our country learns more and more about this animal. Together we can take measures to make things a little better for the hedgehog.”
The association also shared tips to make gardens more hedgehog-friendly. “Hedgehogs are nocturnal and can cover considerable distances when they set off. Make sure that your garden is accessible to hedgehogs by, for example, making an opening in your fence.”
They said people can create a “hedgehog highway” when neighbors team up to make the openings and connect their gardens.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times