Western European Hedgehog

Western European Hedgehog - Bill BlackWestern European Hedgehog - Bill Black

Latin name: Erinaceus europaeus

Hedgehogs are perhaps the best studied and most iconic of Alderney’s land mammals.  An unusually high proportion of the island’s population is blonde (leucistic), and annual surveys are undertaken to compare the distribution between brown and blonde specimens.

Hedgehogs frequent hedgerows, and it is thought that their name derives in part from this habit, and in part from their snout resembling that of a pig; literally “hedge-pig” or “hedge-hog” (a name used since at least the fifteenth century in England).

They are an omnivorous species, with a diet consisting of: insects, amphibians, bird’s eggs, carrion, and berries.  Hedgehogs are predominately nocturnal and usually hibernate in the colder months when food is less available.

Status in Alderney: Common

Status in UK: Priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Worldwide IUCN Red List: Least Concern, population trend stable