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Mon, 04/09/2018 - 17:07 -- sdukbewiser

Watch out for hedgehogs crossing

Mon, 09/04/2018
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Watch out for hedgehogs crossing

The Government are set to erect warning signs where small wildlife is present to protect animals such as hedgehogs.

Jonathan Bucks, the Mail Online, reports:

Signs warning motorists to watch out for hedgehogs are set to appear on British roads.

The Government wants to help the animals get across highways safely – and so help boost their declining numbers.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘The great British hedgehog may be a prickly character, but they are close to all our hearts and especially mine. The fall in the number of hedgehogs is a great concern to me so, as Parliamentary Hedgehog Champion, I want to do all I can to help halt this decline.

I have asked whether road signs can be designed to make drivers aware when small wildlife is present, in order to protect species like this.’

In the 1950s, there were an estimated 30 million hedgehogs in Britain, but today the number has plummeted to about a million – with motorists one of the causes.

The hedgehog, which topped a 2013 vote to nominate a national species for Britain, scavenges for food in towns but feeds mostly on beetles, grubs, slugs and earthworms.

A spokesman for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said: ‘Chris Grayling is the hedgehog champion in Parliament so it’s great that he’s taken this idea forward.

‘It can only benefit the hedgehog population to make people aware that they are in that area. Even if only one or two people slow down, that could make a big difference.

‘The problem is that hedgehogs don’t have much of a flight instinct. They just curl up and wait for the danger to go away but if their danger is a car, their prickles are no defence.’

Minimising human impact where possible is a great step forward in protecting the local wildlife. 

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