This is another species of hedgehog with noticeably big ears. These ears help the hedgehogs to sense movements of their prey, which includes insects, small rodents, small reptiles, baby birds and eggs.
The Daurian hedgehog chooses to habit in scrublands and in rock areas which is likely to be for greater protection and concealment from predators. Like most hedgehog species in temperate regions, the Daurian hibernates during the winter.
Photo credit – Grace the Hedgehog
For some time, Northern White-Breasted hedgehogs were considered to be a subspecies of European hedgehog and later a subspecies of Southern White-Breasted hedgehog. It is now considered a species of its own and has been since the 1990s!
The range of the species extends in the west as far as Poland and Austria, and south to Greece, including populations in Crete, Corfu and Rhodes.
This species of our spiky friends like to build grass nests in secluded places. They are very similar to European Hedgehogs, though differ slightly in appearance with their white chest. For a period of time, European Hedgehogs and Southern White-Breasted Hedgehogs were considered to be the same species! The Southern White-Breasted differs to its European relative, as it prefers to build grass nests in secluded places rather than dig a ‘den’.
The European hedgehog is one of the UK’s most familiar wild animals. They are commonly seen in wild corners of gardens or parks, in hedges and bushes where they can happily hide from predators and raise their young.
These spikey insectivores mostly come out at night. You are most likely to see a European hedgehog from April-October, as hedgehogs are one of only three mammals in the UK which hibernate, the other two being the bat and the dormouse.
Did you know that the average hedgehog has around 7000 spines on its back?