< > W358 - The Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group

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Organisation Reference The Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group
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This information has been supplied by The Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group and is presented in its original format:

The Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group rescues, rehabilitates and releases back into the wild Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Jersey, British Channel Islands.

What our aims are and what we do:

i. To increase public awareness about hedgehogs in Jersey and the dangers they face living in a small Island in close proximity to humans and all their activities. We give talks to groups of all ages, never refuse an invitation to give an interview to the media or have a stand or stall at an event. We produce quarterly newsletters for our members. 

ii. To care for any sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs found by members of the public and once they are fit again, to release them back into the wild as near to where they were found as is sensible. This is done under veterinary guidance, we work closely with the New Era Veterinary Hospital.

iii. To contribute information for scientific research about hedgehogs. We keep records of all hedgehogs in our care and fit most of them with numbered ear-tags to identify them if they are found again. We rely on members of the public to inform us when they find a tagged hedgehog, either dead or alive. This adds to our knowledge of what happens to them once they have been released, for example: how far they travel from the release point, how long they live and we may be able to tell if the problems it had on its first visit have recurred.

Hedgehogs in Jersey:

They were introduced to Jersey in the middle of the 19th century, around the same time as red squirrels. They have no natural predators in Jersey, as there are no badgers or foxes on the Island, but there are still many hazards for them to face, most of them caused by humans. Rats, feral ferrets and dogs may attack them and even kill them. Cats will only pose a threat to very young hedgehogs before they are independent of mother. The breeding season in Jersey runs from May to the end of October. In spite of mild winters after the end of November any young hedgehog which has not reached a safe weight for hibernation (450g) may not survive the winter in the wild. If they are found and brought to us, we care for them until they weigh 600g when we release them in mild weather or wait until Spring if they decide to hibernate in care.

Hazards for Hedgehogs: 

Hedgehogs get trapped in plastic bags, dustbin liners, crisp packets, 4 pack rings, polystyrene cups etc.

There are some very well tended gardens in the Island which means slug pellets, weed killers and insecticides .We see some horrific injuries caused by cutting tools before every Visite du Branchage which occur twice a year at the beginning of July and September, when Parish Officials inspect all the hedges and banks bordering on public roads, it is an offence not to cut your boundary along the roadside. This means that farmers and landowners have a deadline to work to and maybe this results in more casualties, or at least concentrates them into these two months. And these are just the hedgehogs which people have rescued, it does not take account of the ones killed outright or the others which have crawled away to die.

There are also many swimming pools in the Island and we regularly admit hedgehogs which have been rescued from drowning. In addition to garden and sports netting, being an island with keen fishermen, hedgehogs get caught in fishing nets and lobster pots left on the ground to dry.

With a maximum speed limit of 40mph, there should not be many hedgehogs killed on our roads, but this is not the case. Other hazards are the same as those encountered elsewhere, so have not been repeated here.

Contact us: by phone 01534 734340 or email: druburdon@jerseymail.co.uk  if would like information about endoparasites, their identification and treatment, or if you would like any more information about ear tagging.
Dates Referenced August 2002
Contact Details

Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group
White Lodge
Waterworks Valley
St. Helier
Tel: (01534) 734340

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