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335,000 hedgehogs killed on British roads every year?

European hedgehog

It has been suggested in a new research study that the death of hedgehogs on British roads might be three times the amount previously estimated and that there may be local extinctions as a result. Previous research indicated that 113,000 hedgehogs are killed annually on UK roads. The new study by researchers at Nottingham Trent University has revised the estimate to 335,000.

European hedgehog

European hedgehog. Photo: Natural History Society of Northumbria.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and an increased population in Britain there is a rise in road traffic leading to many more of these popular wild animals dying as road kill. They are listed as Vulnerable on the Red List for British Mammals. The numbers have been declining consistently and by up to 50% in rural areas and 30% in urban areas over the past 20 years according to a 2018 report.

This is alarming, especially since we don’t have robust population estimates. Although we know some hedgehogs use road crossing structures, we don’t know how effective these are.-Lauren Moore, a PhD student at Nottingham Trent University.

The university worked with Cambridge, Reading and Cardiff universities. They are suggesting that there may be local extinctions as a result of the high road kill rate.

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