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Commentary

Beneficial Land Management for Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in the United Kingdom

1
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Science, Brackenhurst Campus, Nottingham Trent University, Southwell NG25 0QF, UK
2
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, Recanati-Kaplan Centre, University of Oxford, Tubney House, Abingdon Road, Tubney, Oxfordshire OX13 5QL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091566
Received: 30 April 2020 / Revised: 25 August 2020 / Accepted: 27 August 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Hedgehog Conservation Research)
Hedgehogs are declining in the United Kingdom and are now absent from large areas of agriculture land. This commentary discusses the requirements of hedgehogs and links these to land management options that are currently used to benefit wildlife in agricultural areas. Using our knowledge of hedgehog requirements for population persistence, we suggest which land management practices are likely to be of benefit to hedgehogs in the hope that land owners will adopt some of the suggestions to help maintain and expand existing hedgehog populations across agricultural landscapes of the United Kingdom.
Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) are traditionally thought of as being a rural dwelling species, associated with rural and agricultural landscapes across Europe. However, recent studies have highlighted that hedgehogs are more likely to be found in urban than rural habitats in the United Kingdom. Here, we review the status of rural hedgehog populations across the UK and evaluate the potential benefits of agri-environment schemes for hedgehog persistence, while highlighting a lack of empirical evidence that agri-environment options will benefit hedgehog populations. Our synthesis has implications for future conservation strategies for hedgehogs and insectivorous mammals living in agricultural landscapes, and calls for more empirical studies on agri-environment options and their potential benefits to hedgehogs. View Full-Text
Keywords: insectivore; agri-environment schemes; habitat preference; farmland biodiversity; small mammal; conservation insectivore; agri-environment schemes; habitat preference; farmland biodiversity; small mammal; conservation
MDPI and ACS Style

Yarnell, R.W.; Pettett, C.E. Beneficial Land Management for Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in the United Kingdom. Animals 2020, 10, 1566. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091566

AMA Style

Yarnell RW, Pettett CE. Beneficial Land Management for Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in the United Kingdom. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1566. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091566

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yarnell, Richard W., and Carly E. Pettett 2020. "Beneficial Land Management for Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in the United Kingdom" Animals 10, no. 9: 1566. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091566

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