25 Latest Hedgehog Population Decline Statistics for the UK (2024)

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If you have a garden, you might have spotted a cute hedgehog visiting it. Unfortunately, these UK hedgehog population decline statistics show that these spiky friends are a much rarer sight these days.

UK Hedgehog Population Decline Statistics

  1. The rural hedgehog population across Britain has declined by between 30%-75% since 2000. (The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs)
  2. Hedgehogs have declined by an average of 8.3% yearly in the past two decades. (Natural History Museum)
  3. The most significant population decline occurs in the East Midlands (74%) and the East of England (35%). (The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs)
  4. From 2002 to 2009, reporting of dead hedgehog sitings declined by 52%. (BTO)
  5. A survey of 2,600 people in 2017 found that 49% saw a hedgehog in their garden, and only 10% saw them regularly. (BBC Gardener’s World)
  6. Hedgehogs are on the IUCN Red List of endangered species for the UK. (NHM)
  7. Estimates suggest there were 1,550,000 hedgehogs in Britain in 1995. (Hedgehog Street)
  8. More recent estimates from ONS’ data on urban screen spaces suggest hedgehog figures be around 200,000-250,000. (ONS & Defra)
  9. Other studies have estimated urban hedgehogs’ density to be anything between 7.4 to 176 hedgehogs per square kilometre. (The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs)
  10. The picture is more positive for hedgehogs in cities, towns and villages, as data shows urban hedgehogs to have stopped declining. (The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs)
  11. However, in London, only one last breeding population is recorded in Central London, in the Outer Circle of the Regent’s Park. (Wild London)
  12. The largest hedgehog population in the capital is in Hampstead Heath in north Greater London, where hedgehogs were present in half of the 150 cameras set up in the park. (PTES)
  13. The most recent accounts suggest urban hedgehog populations in Britain could be improving, with more recorded sightings. (Garden BirdWatch)

What is behind the decline?

  1. An estimated 167,000-335,000 hedgehogs were killed by vehicles. (The Mammal Society)
  2. 10% to 20% of the hedgehog population each year could die as road casualties, but it’s not necessarily the reason for overall population decline. (Hedgehog Street)
  3. Roads and habitat fragmentation are significant killers, but the decline could also be down to predation by badgers and a permanent pasture reduction due to the intensification of agriculture. (BTO)
  4. Britain has built 16,000 hedgehog highways to help keep these little creatures safe. (Hedgehog Street)

Interesting hedgehog facts

  1. The UK also has a canine hedgehog detective, Henry, who can sniff hedgehogs and help conservationists protect the hedgehog population better. (PTES)
  2. Hedgehogs hibernate and are one of only three hibernating species in the UK. (British Hedgehog Preservation Society)
  3. In 2016, Brits voted hedgehogs as the country’s favourite mammal. (RSB)

Global hedgehog population

  1. There are 17 species of hedgehogs in the world. (Wikipedia)
  2. There are no native hedgehogs in Australia or North and South America. (Pet Keen)
  3. The decline of the hedgehog population in Europe varies across the region; in Bavaria, Germany, they are on the list of endangered animals. (DW)
  4. The worldwide hedgehog population is stable, however, and listed as ‘least concern’ in the IUCN Red List. (National Geographic)
  5. In New Zealand, there are an estimated 2 and 4 hedgehogs per hectare, and they are so abundant they pose a threat to other native species. (New Zealand Department of Conservation)

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