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They’re notoriously shy and not exactly cuddly – yet still one of Britain’s most beloved wild animals.
But hedgehogs are now hard to find even in the countryside, with only one in five rural areas showing traces of them, according to a study.
Increase - Badgers - Predators - Numbers - Years
An increase in badgers, hedgehog predators whose numbers have doubled in the past 25 years, may be to blame for the decline.
Experts also fear farmland is replacing the hedgerows the creatures live in and that pesticides are damaging populations of earthworms they feed on.
Researchers - Universities - Nottingham - Reading - Sites
Researchers at the universities of Nottingham and Reading surveyed 261 rural sites across England and Wales using tunnels with ink pads and paper floors inside to track hedgehog footprints. They found the animals at only 55 sites – 21 per cent – and said numbers were ‘worryingly low’.
Lead author Ben Williams, from the University of Reading, wrote in the study that badgers may reduce hedgehog numbers by eating them and competing with...
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Why do democrats never have to face the reality of what's on the ground, like 2000 years of marriage.