Species of the Month - April 2014


Erinaceus europaeus

In April the Hedgehog emerges from hibernation and starts foraging for food to build itself up after its long sleep, as well as beginning its breeding activity.  As a result this is one of the times of year when they're most likely to be seen.  Sadly it also means a lot are run over on the roads as they wander about, but records of dead hedgehogs on the road are valuable in mapping populations.

Erinaceus europaeus

Hedgehogs are declining in Britain, mainly due to habitat loss and pesticides.  Gardens can be a useful refuge for them.  They will repay their keep as they eat slugs which are a constant menace to gardeners in this part of the world.  There is plenty of information on the web about how to encourage hedgehogs into your garden and provide safe places for them to nest.  An untidy garden is best!  Slug pellets will kill hedgehogs.

Erinaceus europaeus

Hedgehogs used to be common where I live near Taynuilt until 3 years ago when they disappeared after the long cold winter.  They have yet to return, but hopefully they will recolonise from nearby populations.  This winter has probably been kinder to hedgehogs than the previous two, as the weather has been milder and spring has come a bit earlier.

Erinaceus europaeus

Hedgehogs roll into a ball for protection.  The only predator that can open a rolled-up hedgehog is the badger.  However, rolling up is not a good defence against car wheels.  Keep an eye out for hedgehogs when driving at night.  If you see one crossing the road, and it is safe to stop, you can give it a helping hand by moving it to the verge.

Erinaceus europaeus

They have about 5,000 spines, which are replaced when they fall out.

Please send in yo
ur Hedgehog sightings using the form below, or email sightings@lnhg.org.uk with the details if you prefer.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Number seen 
Alive or dead 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g. habitat, behaviour   


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

15 Apr: One injured beside road at Kilbrandon, Seil, reported by Pat Blunsden.

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Mar 2014 - Hairy Bittercress
Feb 2014 - Pale Brindled Beauty
Jan 2014 - Velvet Shank
Dec 2013 - Frilly-fruited Jelly Lichen
Nov 2013 - Whooper Swan
Oct 2013 - Ballerina Waxcap
Sep 2013 - Parrot Waxcap
Aug 2013 - Vapourer Moth

Jul 2013 - Emerald Damselfly
Jun 2013 - Globe Flower
May 2013 - Early Purple Orchid
Apr 2013 - Peacock Butterfly
Mar 2013 - Oak Beauty
Feb 2013 - Coral Lungwort

Jan 2013 - Willow Jelly Button & Birch Jelly Button
Dec 2012 - Dice Lichen
Nov 2012 - Feathered Thorn
Oct 2012 - Dryad's Saddle
Sep 2012 - Tawny Grisette
Aug 2012 - Forest Bug
Jul 2012 - Grayling
Jun 2012 - Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchids
May 2012 - Small Copper
Apr 2012 - Green Tiger Beetle
Mar 2012 - March Moth
Feb 2012 - Barren Strawberry
Jan 2012 - Brambling
Dec 2011 - Red Squirrel
Nov 2011 - Hazel Gloves
Oct 2011 - Small Tortoiseshell
Sep 2011 - Fly Agaric
Aug 2011 - Grass of Parnassus
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Jun 2011 - 7-spot Ladybird
May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock

Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

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All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated