Sweet Animation Urges Us to Help Save Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are still widely found in the wild around Europe, but drastic declines in their numbers have animal advocates worried about the future of these adorable little creatures in Britain.

According to the Wildlife Aid Foundation, there were more than 30 million hedgehogs in the UK in the 1950s, but their numbers have dropped to fewer than a million today. The organization believes that the current rate of decline could mean hedgehogs will face urban extinction by 2025.

To help raise awareness about their plight and the dangers they face, Wildlife Aid commissioned winning animator Kris Hofmann, along with illustrator Sandra Dieckmann and puppet-maker Joseph James, to create “Saving Harry,” a short film telling the story of Harry and Harriet the hedgehogs to help promote better protection for them in Britain.

The video is sweet, but the problems wild hedgehogs face are anything but. While they face a number of threats, a huge problem for them is one that is shared by a variety of species: habitat loss and fragmentation. With those problems small populations get isolated and less space has led many to move into developed areas where they’re vulnerable to being hit by cars, trapped by walls and fencing, bonfires and the use of pesticides that harm them, or kill their preferred food, including worms, snails, slugs and beetles.

As the organization showed with a backyard rescue of a baby hedgehog over the summer, even something as simple as a discarded tin can can prove to be a deadly danger.

“The hedgehog’s natural habitat is disappearing fast and these poor creatures face many more dangers than they have ever faced before due to Man’s encroachment. Unless we act now to ‘save Harry’ we risk losing our most iconic wildlife species from Britain completely. It is high time we learned how precious and how vulnerable our natural environment has become,” stated Wildlife Aid.

The loss of hedgehogs isn’t just bad news for them and wildlife enthusiasts who love them, but also for the environment because they’re considered an indicator species who signal problems with the ecosystem.

“They’re quite generalist, and feed on soil invertebrates, and they’re not very fussy in habitat requirements, so if there is a big decline in hedgehogs, it raises concerns about the quality of the environment generally,” David Wembridge, a survey officer for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), told the Guardian.

Fortunately, there are a number of things we can do to help hedgehogs survive in a changing environment. While Wildlife Aid helps rescue those in need of help, the organization also offers a number of tips to help hedgehogs out through its Saving Harry campaign.

Hedgehog Street, which was created by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, also offers a variety of information and resources to create hedgehog-friendly neighborhoods that include gardening tips and simple actions like cutting or digging holes at the bottom of fences to ensure hedgehogs can travel freely between gardens to participating in surveys that count sightings.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

138 comments

Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Kitty Heardman
Kitty Heardman3 years ago

poor things

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

cute video but sad showing wht those darling creatures have to face. Thanks for sharing.

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Angev GERIDONI
Angev GERIDONI3 years ago

For the horses and goats from PETROPOLIS please sign the petitions :
Care 2 - and - ♞ PeticaoPublica.com
To see more : misfed. - Rip - Rip - misfed - Rip

Angev

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Angev GERIDONI
Angev GERIDONI3 years ago

NEW THREAT on Petropolis animals, they need again your help
to stop a project of a vivarium for laboratory. You know what's
happened to the horses in the streets outside, imagine for pets in cages. Please sign the new petition here :
STOP Petropolis vivarium project

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Angev GERIDONI
Angev GERIDONI3 years ago

✿ ♂♀ ✿ STERILIZE YOUR PETS ✿ ♂♀ ✿

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Kelly Davis-steel
Kelly D3 years ago

Thank you for posting

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Kelly Davis-steel
Kelly D3 years ago

cute little things xx

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Marija Mohoric
Marija M3 years ago

tks for sharing

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Anne Grice
Anne Grice3 years ago

Humans need to make changes to stop destroying the habitat of these wonderful little hedgehogs to give them a chance to survive. Stop encroaching on their environment ! They are entitled to live on this planet too! Save their homes before its too late!

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