Careful hedgehog count shows Dutch population may be increasing

Young hedgehog in natural habitat

The number of hedgehogs in the Netherlands has reached record heights, figures published by Nature Today show.

Volunteers spent last weekend counting, and spotted an unprecedented 1,385 hedgehogs in gardens and 703 in the wild. Most were found in the province  of Friesland and Noord-Brabant. They also found about 100 hedgehogs that had been killed by traffic.

Earlier counts showed hedgehog populations had fallen between 1994 and 2018. How the hedgehogs will fare this year is an open question, the Network Ecological Monitoring said.

The organisation, which has been carrying out the count for the last decade, said a greater number does not necessarily mean populations are growing again.  It hopes to come up with answers on this prickly subject by the end of the year.

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