We have had a many good news stories about the wildlife in Medway over the lockdown period; red kites over the river and stag beetles in the Vines. However, we cannot ignore the fact that all groups of species, butterflies, birds, reptiles, have been suffering severe loses in this country for decades.
Mammals are no exception and the sad news this summer is that hedgehogs are now considered rare enough to be placed on the Red List of species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The news was reported by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in its July newsletter) stating that they are now vulnerable to extinction.
If we are going to make a difference to our biodiversity then we need to work hard with all organisations to protect our vulnerable species.
The good news is that the efforts we are making to create meadows in our urban greenspaces and reduce the use of herbicides are exactly what hedgehogs need. They come out at night during the summer to feed on slugs, beetles and earthworms, all species which do well in meadow habitats. It is now well established that herbicides can affect populations of earthworms. This summer the Council has stopped spraying in our parks and this will be of huge benefit for the few hedgehogs we have left.
If you have hedgehogs that visit your garden or come across one in the evening walking through your local park then please let us know through the Forum Contact Page so that we can start recording their distribution across Medway.