July 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 9, 2014
A “citizen science” survey of hedgehogs will be officially launched in west Suffolk as experts try to identify how many are left in the wild.
The survey by Suffolk Wildlife Trust follows a dramatic decline in UK hedgehog numbers over the last decade.
The trust hopes that by asking people to record their sightings of live and dead hedgehogs over the next year, it will be possible to focus conservation efforts in particular areas.
Michael Strand, the trust’s development manager, said: “We know hedgehog populations UK-wide have fallen by at least 30% over the last ten years and if we want to help hedgehogs right here in Suffolk, we have to find where the remaining hedgehogs are so we can focus our objectives and get people taking action for hedgehogs in the short term and the long term.”
It’s thought to be the first time such a survey has taken place in the county. Mr Strand said the records of the sightings will be collated by the trust towards the end of the year and it is hoped that conservation objectives can be formed by early 2015.
He added: “It’s a survey where everyone can potentially participate whether they are young or old.
“Hedgehogs are a species that people can really identify easily, so everyone can be part of this project.”
So far more than 600 sightings have been recorded on the ispy website across the county.
The survey launched last week in Ipswich and will be launched in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.
A team from the trust, including Humphrey the Hedgehog, will be in The Arc from 9am to 4pm to answer questions.
To take part in the survey visit hedgehogs.ispywildlife.org/ or those with no internet access can phone 01473 890089.
For more information about hedgehogs and hedgehog conservation visit suffolkwildlifetrust.org/hedgehog-action