Are Hedgehogs Indigenous to the UK?

In places like the United States, hedgehogs are widespread as pets even though they are not native. So where are hedgehogs from in the world? Where are hedgehogs indigenous and are hedgehogs indigenous to the UK?

Hedgehogs are indigenous to the UK. This means these spined animals naturally occur there.

In the UK, hedgehogs can be domesticated to become pets. In addition to being domesticated, hedgehogs are also indigenous to the UK.

Hedgehogs prefer to live in places with woodlands and hedges. These kinds of places have lots of food for hedgehogs. Hedges and greenery provide hedgehogs with sufficient nesting areas.

Where Do Hedgehogs Come From Originally?

Hedgehogs are not only native to the UK. These small mammals are native to many regions of the world, such as the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Central Asia. 

You will find that there are seventeen species of hedgehogs found all around the world. However, not all species are the same, and each has evolved and adapted according to their habitats. Wild hedgehogs have their mechanisms, and some can be domesticated like the African pygmy hedgehog.

Are UK’s Hedgehogs Facing a Threat?

Hedgehogs are indigenous to the UK, but unfortunately, they face a threat in their homeland and their risk of becoming extinct is ever-increasing. Although hedgehogs are labelled as least concerned in the endangered list, their numbers have reduced by twice in recent years in the UK.

Hedgehogs are facing a threat in the UK due to the loss of habitat. Hedgerows and woodlands are now being cleared to make way for agricultural and infrastructure activities. Traditional gardens are no longer prevalent with gravel, artificial lawns and non-native plants become increasingly popular.

New fencing and sparse gardens do not attract hedgehogs anymore. Due to fencing, the gardens between houses do not link anymore, so hedgehogs find it difficult to move from one place to another.

This means hedgehogs find it difficult to come together to mate, resulting in fewer births. Lack of vegetation in gardens means that there are also no insects for hedgehogs to eat.

Due to habitat loss and lack of hedgehog channels, these creatures find themselves on the street. As hedgehogs come out during the nighttime, being on the streets is life-threatening. Many hedgehogs find themselves in accidents that result in their death.

All of these factors have led to a sharp decline in the hedgehog population.

How To Help Hedgehogs in the UK

The declining rate of the hedgehog population in the UK is alarming. It is in the best interest of hedgehogs that humans help them in any way possible.

The first and foremost way to help hedgehogs is by making your home welcoming for them. You can do so by keeping your garden green by planting evergreen shrubs, hedges and even by keeping some areas of lawn unmown.

Through plants, you will also attract insects and worms that hedgehogs love to eat. Greenery also attracts hedgehogs because they build their nests.

You should also place food out for hedgehogs to eat. The best food for hedgehogs is easily available cat food.

It would help if you put freshwater alongside the wood in case the hedgehogs are thirsty. If you install a pond to provide water, ensure there is an easy way for hedgehogs and other creatures to climb out. The last thing you want to do is cause a hedgehog to drown whilst trying to help it.

Perhaps a great way to help hedgehogs is to improve their mobility:

You can link your garden with your neighbour by making a hole in the fence. You can also choose to have a hedge rather than a wooden fence. In addition, if you see any sick or injured hedgehogs, it is best to tend to them or report them to the authorities, so they are well taken care of.

Are There Hedgehogs Found in Other Parts of the World?

The UK is not one place where hedgehogs are found. These spined animals are indigenous to other places too. Different species of hedgehogs are found in different places. These spined mammals have their adaptations according to the place they live in.

Hedgehogs in Europe are found in meadows, grasslands, and woodlands. These hedgehogs do not prefer to live far in the wild but close to the suburbs. European hedgehogs like to stay close to suburban areas because they have access to food and water.

As the cold weather approaches in Europe, hedgehogs will hibernate and conserve their energy. Hedgehogs in Europe can also be found in the Southern region and semi-desert areas.

Moving on from Europe, you can find hedgehogs in Africa too. These hedgehogs are found in rock lands as well as woodlands and grasslands. Hedgehogs found in rocky areas use the landscape as an advantage to camouflage and hide from any predators lurking.

Unlike European hedgehogs, African hedgehogs do not hibernate for long due to the warm weather. Moreover, the hedgehogs enjoy a variety of insects to feast on in the lands of Africa.

Central Asia and some areas of the Middle East are also home to hedgehogs. Hedgehogs found in these parts are long-eared hedgehogs. Asian hedgehogs like to live in grassy areas as opposed to rocky ones like African hedgehogs.

Unfortunately, hedgehogs are not native to Australia and the United States. Hence, hedgehogs are illegal to be kept as pets in Australia and some areas of the United States. Hedgehogs are illegal because if they are introduced to the wild, they will become pests and a danger to the community.

Summary

Hedgehogs have become increasingly popular pets in recent years. However, many people are still unaware of these spined mammals and where they come from. Hedgehogs are indigenous to the UK, which means that they naturally occur there.

Moreover, hedgehogs are found in the UK and other regions, such as Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Hedgehogs belonging to different regions of the world have their features according to the place they live in.

Unfortunately, hedgehogs in the UK face a threat to their lives because of the loss of their habitats.

profile photo

Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here