TCV Citizen Science: HogWatch Scotland

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HogWatch Scotland is TCV Scotland’s hedgehog conservation project, which has been funded by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society until 2021.

HogWatch Scotland aims to understand more about the declining species of hedgehogs in Scotland by conducting torchlight surveys, a variety of events and training courses, working with schools, and implementing hedgehog friendly changes in the landscape.

In 2018, it was revealed that hedgehog numbers had fallen by about 50% since the turn of the century. The report also suggested that hedgehogs are disappearing more rapidly in the countryside, as hedgerows and field margins are lost to intensive farming.

While lockdown restrictions in 2020 has meant that some of the work on TCV projects have come to a temporary stop, this is one area of conservation that people of all ages can carry out at home.

The HogWatch Scotland team have put together this resource pack which has lots of fun and simple activities to encourage hedgehog populations in your area and protecting their habitat.

We are grateful to hedgehog volunteers across the country who continue to send their sightings to the project for us to better understand hedgehog populations, we have over 300 already this year.

Lots of people have been keeping active creating hedgehog houses, feeding stations and Hedgehog Highways – cutting a small hole in their fence to allow wildlife to pass through and open up the landscape
.

Kirsty Crawford – TCV Senior Project Officer – Citizen Science

Looking after our native species is vitally important, and there is so much that we can do from our own homes to protect these well-loved mammals.

There are just 4 easy steps to get involved in HogWatch:

  1. Volunteer on the Hedgehog Safari
  2. Submit a sighting
  3. HogWatch at Home – monitor in your own garden
  4. Become a hedgehog champion

We may think of hedgehogs of being relatively common and widespread, but there with the decline in both rural and urban habitats, the numbers of these little creatures are declining – worldwide, they are declining faster than tigers worldwide!

For more information and how to get involved, visit the HogWatch Scotland website.

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