September 17 2014 Latest news:
Monday, August 11, 2014
The analysis of data from a pioneering citizen science campaign to help the county’s hedgehogs is now in its preliminary stages.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust are asking people to record their sightings of live and dead hedgehogs over to help focus their future conservation efforts.
Trust experts, who still want people to log their hedgehog information online or over the phone, are now beginning to pore over the 5,000 records already submitted.
Dr Simone Bullion, the Trust’s senior conservation officer, said the project - a response to a dramatic decline in UK hedgehog numbers - had clearly captured the public’s imagination.
She added: “We’ve had a look at the data and we’ve got some idea of the numbers that we have got. Obviously we have got a bit more of the season to run, but we’ve already had a bit of 5,000 records which is brilliant.
“It appears that at the moment about three quarters of those are where people are seeing a living hedgehog, and a quarter where people are seeing a dead hedgehog by the side of the road. I thought we would probably have about 50:50 living and dead, so it’s really encouraging that people are reporting things like hedgehogs in their gardens.”
Dr Bullion said the Trust still want people to log their hedgehog information.
She added: “What we would love to push on is that we really need to hear, one if you’ve never ever seen a hedgehog in this location and also if you used to see hedgehogs in this location, but are not seeing them now.
“Of course there ‘s a lot of enthusiasm about hedgehogs, which means people are telling us when they see them, but we also need to drill down into finding whether there is a decline, which means those records where people used to see them but are not seeing them anymore are really, really important.”
To celebrate reaching 5,000 records the Trust’s mascot hedgehog, Humphrey, has recorded a special thank you message to everyone who has got involved.
You can watch it at suffolkwildlifetrust.org/hedgehogs.