The recent weather across the UK broke records, as it was rated the mildest December ever in the UK and this is having an impact on the health and numbers of Hedgehogs on Wirral.
The previous mild 6.9C record set in 1934 was broken by 1.1C, as December 2015 was 8C above average.
Hedgehog Hospital’s across the UK are reported to be caring for much more of the animals than usual and that the increase in injured hedgehogs is a result of the mild weather, as the hogs are more active than usual.
On Wirral there has been a noticeable decline in Hedgehogs during December 2015 from the previous year.
Experts from a rescue centre in Wallasey say the warmer weather can mean hedgehogs are less likely to hibernate over the winter and store food, resulting in underweight hogs or even death.
Claire Williams at the Hedgehog Rescue Centre in Wallasey said: “Mild weather does effect if a hedgehog hibernates or not, if it’s not cold enough they won’t do it.
“We have noticed that we have slightly less hedgehogs this year as to last year”.
She added: “We have also noticed an awful lot of underweight hedgehogs for sure, some needing worming medications and some suffering to manage, but all too small to hibernate.
“Hibernating under the recommended weight of 600 grams will quite probably result in death of the hog.
“We keep all hogs under this weight on a electric Heatpad until they reach that weight, once 600 grams is reached the heat pad can be removed and the hog can then hibernate if it chooses to do”.
Sadly, it’s estimated that a quarter of the hedgehog population has been lost in the last ten years.
To help combat the problem you can buy a hedgehog shelter from the RSPB website, the shelter will protect the hedgehog from the weather and keep it warm.
To encourage hedgehogs into your garden buy a shelter and read more advice here.
Support and keep up to date with the hedgehog rescue centre’s updates in Wallasey by liking them on Facebook here.