Why do we need a hedgehog survey?
Studies from Britain and elsewhere in Europe have found that hedgehog numbers are in steep decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation from changing farming practices and development. As the environment in Ireland is experiencing similar pressures the hedgehog population in Ireland may be similarly affected. This study will provide baseline data on the distribution and status of hedgehogs in Ireland in order to fill the gap in our knowledge.
Submit sightings of hedgehogs
As hedgehogs are generally nocturnal they are not often seen in the wild unless they are found dead on roads, or if they are regular visitors to gardens at night. The Irish Hedgehog Survey is looking to receive any sightings of live or dead hedgehogs to build up a more detailed picture of where they occur.
Survey using footprint tunnels or camera traps
In addition to collecting casual hedgehog sightings, the Irish Hedgehog Survey is seeking volunteers to participate in a more focused survey using footprint tunnels or camera traps to survey for hedgehogs in the garden. No specialist training is required and a simple footprint tunnel can be made at home. The survey will run between the start of June and the end of September.
The Irish Hedgehog Survey is also looking to receive any hedgehog corpses. If you find a dead hedgehog, for example, a roadkill animal, please collect the specimen, place in a plastic bag (double bag if necessary), labelled with the date and location, and contact NUI Galway (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange a collection. If possible, please chill or freeze the specimen until collection.
The Irish Hedgehog Survey has produced two leaflets with top tips on making your land more hedgehog friendly. Hedgehogs need food, a place to nest, hide from predators and find mates. No one habitat can provide all these needs for hedgehogs and a variety of habitats are needed.
These leaflets are available in English and as Gaeilge.