Truth be­hind hedge­hog myths

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

The public and wildlife con­ser­va­tion­ists alike have a soft spot for hedge­hog.

But, there are a num­ber of myths that have de­vel­oped over the years that could be ham­per­ing ef­forts to in­crease their num­bers.

Now, wildlife char­i­ties the Peo­ple’s Trust for En­dan­gered Species (PTES) and the Bri­tish Hedge­hog Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety (BHPS) want to de­bunk the top five com­mon myths sur­round­ing them in a bid to halt their de­clin­ing num­bers.

Myth 1: There is more than one species of hedge­hog na­tive to Bri­tain. Wrong – the West Euro­pean hedge­hog is Bri­tain’s only na­tive hedge­hog.

Myth 2: There were 30m hedge­hogs in Bri­tain in the 1950s. The truth is no one knew the real num­ber then or now.

Myth 3: Bri­tish hedge­hogs are threat­ened with ex­tinc­tion. Though pop­u­la­tion trends show a con­tin­u­ing de­cline, it is un­likely that this will even­tu­ally re­sult in hedge­hog ex­tinc­tion.

Myth 4: Hedge­hogs should be fed bread and milk. NO. Hedge­hogs are lac­tose in­tol­er­ant and milk can cause di­ar­rhoea and bread is not good for them. Leave them wa­ter in­stead.

Myth 5: Hedge­hogs trans­mit fleas to pets. They don’t.

See www.hedge­hogstreet.org

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