British hedgehogs are now officially vulnerable to extinction, new research has found.
The Red List conservation report, which was conducted by the Mammal Society, explains that the spiky creatures could be at risk of dying out completely if we don't take drastic action to prevent their numbers dropping.
As well as hedgehogs, the research also found that 11 of our 47 native mammals are at risk of extinction, due to historical persecution, a loss of habitat, development and the introduction of non-native species. These include the water vole, hazel dormouse, wildcat and the grey long-eared bat.
Tony Juniper, Natural England Chair, said: "This is a wake-up call, but it is not too late to act. We are working with our partners to recover our threatened and widely loved mammals, including licensing the reintroduction of beavers into England, and supporting the recovery of dormice and the grey long-eared bat, but there is so much more to do."
In the light of this sad news, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) is now calling on the government to take wildlife seriously. They are also praising the amazing work people are doing in their own gardens to help.
"What people do on behalf of the hedgehog is amazing," Fay Vass, CEO of the BHPS, said. "The holes made in fences, the feeding, the hedgehog houses, the wildlife friendly planting, the removal of hazards – all makes such a difference locally. But it is not enough to rely on the good will of individuals to protect this important creature. We need the government to enforce wildlife-friendly practices. From farming to development to transport – wildlife needs to be taken seriously."
Looking to help the hedgehogs? Take a look at the various things you can do below that will make a huge difference:
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