Why is it a problem?
Introduced into New Zealand from Britain in 1870, hedgehogs were another way that Europen settlers could be reminded of ‘home’, and to help control garden slugs, snails and insects. Surprisingly, the extent to which hedgehogs impact upon the New Zealand environment has only recently begun to be understood. They have a voracious appetite, are a proven major predator of the eggs of breeding river birds, and they prey on endemic invertebrates and lizards. Moreover, the legacy of this British import continues to this day with the perception that hedgehogs are endearing and harmless creatures leading to a growth of ‘hedgehog rescue’ groups.
The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), also known as the West European hedgehog or common hedgehog is a small nocturnal mammal, grey-brown in colour with its back and sides entirely covered with spines, 150-250mm long. They are a maximum weight of 1kg, but their weight can drop dramatically during winter hibernation.
Where is it found?
Abundant along all braided rivers, particularly in lowland areas near farms.
- Trapping. The DOC 150 and 200 is the most effective.
- Where you can buy or order DOC 200 traps ($65-$90 each)
- If you are interested in helping out with or starting up a local trapping programme, please contact your nearest DOC office or contact one of the local rivercare groups.
- For further information on hedgehog ecology and biodiversity impacts, contact Chris Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org 03 321 9869
- Landcare Research: Hedgehog: recent evidence of their impacts on native fauna
- DOC: Hedgehogs
- Pest Detective: Hedgehogs
- 2005: Jones et al; Diet of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in the upper Waitaki Basin, New Zealand: Implications for conservation New Zealand Journal of Ecology (open access PDF)
- See Predators/research and references
- See Ecology/research and references