Save Adorable Hedgehogs from Extinction

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Housing developments are destroying hedgehog habitat in the UK, where this species is supposed to be protected. Take action!


Hedgehogs are already protected by law in UK, but their nesting sites are still in danger1.

Housing estate development invite fences built with cement bases that restrict hedgehogs from foraging, and preventing them from moving from one garden to the next2. These foraging spaces and the ability to move about with freedom is important for hedgehogs to be able to survive.

Hedgehog numbers have fallen by up to 50% in rural areas since 2000, according to a report by the People's Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society3, and they are registered as vulnerable to extinction on the Red List for Britain's mammals4.

Hedgehogs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, preventing them from being killed using prohibited methods such as snares or traps. But despite being on the UK Red List5, hedgehogs are not protected in the UK by schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 19816.

Schedule 5 of the the act offers additional protection for the conservation of animal habitats. Currently, every species classified as "vulnerable to extinction" are extended protections by schedule 5 except hedgehogs7.

In January 2021, MP Chris Grayling tabled an amendment to the Environment Bill, proposing that hedgehogs be added to schedule 5, a move which has received cross-party backing so far from 15 other MPs8.

If approved, it would place a legal obligation on developers to search for the animals and take action to reduce the risk to their habitat from building.

"Hedgehogs are one of our most treasured animals and play an important role in the country's heritage and natural environment, and we are working hard to reverse the decline of our iconic British species," reports The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs9.

Sign the petition and support efforts to save the UKs adorable hedgehog from extinction!

More on this issue:

  1. Short-Facts (28 September 2020), "Are hedgehogs a protected species UK?."
  2. Rural Services Network (15 March 2021), "Hinterland - 15 March 2021."
  3. Emily Wilson and David Wembridge, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2018) "The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018."
  4. Andy, British Hedgehog Preservation Society (30 July 2020) "British hedgehog now officially classified as vulnerable to extinction."
  5. Tammana Begum, National History Museum (7 August 2020), "Hedgehogs and water voles face extinction in new Red List for British mammals."
  6. UK Wildlife (2016) "Schedule 6 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981."
  7. Acer Ecology (8 January 2019) "Hedgehogs – Is Their Current Protection Too Weak?"
  8. House of Commons Notices Of Amendments (22 January 2021) "Consideration Of Bill (Report Stage); Environment Bill, Aa Amended."
  9. BBC (11 March 2021) "Petition gathers pace to save hedgehogs from extinction."
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The Petition:

To the members of UK Parliament and the House of Commons,

The humble hedgehog has long played a role in the stories and culture of the United Kingdom. The species is perhaps as close or closer to a national mascot as the English bulldog.

However, hedgehog populations are dwindling, and we may not see this adorable animal around much longer. New housing developments invite fences built with cement bases that restrict hedgehogs from foraging, and preventing them from moving from one garden to the next.

This foraging space and the ability to move about with freedom is critical for hedgehogs to be able to survive.

Hedgehog numbers have fallen by up to 50% in rural areas since 2000, and they are registered as vulnerable to extinction on the UK Red List for Britain's mammals. However, the hedgehog is the only animal on the UK Red List not protected in the UK schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which would offer additional protection for the conservation of hedgehog habitat.

In January 2021, MP Chris Grayling tabled an amendment to the Environment Bill proposing that hedgehogs be added to schedule 5, a move which has received cross-party backing so far from 15 MPs.

If approved, it would place a legal obligation on developers to search for the animals and take action to reduce the risk to their habitat from building.

I implore you to support this amendment and ensure a brighter future for the Western European hedgehog!

Sincerely,

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Signatures: