The iconic British Hedgehog has been identified as declining, with a population reduction of "up to 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas since the turn of the century" (Wilson & Wembridge, 2018). As a result, the hedgehog is now listed on the IUCN Red List for British Mammals as 'Vulnerable to Extinction' (Mathews & Harrower, 2020).
Organisations such as the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the Hedgehog Preservation Society highlights that this decline has been caused by habitat loss and fragmentation, and run schemes such as the Hedgehog Friendly Campus (https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-friendly-campus/) and Hedgehog Street (https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/) to try to help improve habitat availability and connectivity. However, research shows that approximately 13,000–340,000 hedgehogs are estimated to die on British roads annually (Wembridge et al., 2016) which may impact hedgehog population, and roads may represent a barrier to habitat connectivity (Moore et al., 2020). Furthermore, habitat suitability modelling has enabled a map of roads to be produced which highlights roads that are potentially "high-risk" for hedgehogs (The Mammal Soxiety, Wright et al., 2020). Many of Bristol's roads are highlighted in this map, which can be found here: https://www.mammal.org.uk/science-research/hedgehog-hotspots/
We propose that Bristol City Council review this information and highlight roads that may be suitable for placement of Hedgehog Crossing signs, such as those released by the Department for Transport in 2019 (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-road-sign-to-improve-road-safety-and-protect-animals) to raise awareness of these animals crossing and encourage behaviour change and increased awareness in drivers. Many other methods (e.g. green bridges and under road tunnels) are cost prohibitive, particularly in a busy city with much infrastructure, therefore road signs may be a cost effective method.
Mathews, .F. & Harrower, C. (2020) IUCN – compliant Red List for Britain’s Terrestrial Mammals. Assessment by the Mammal Society under contract to Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage. Natural England, Peterborough ISBN 978-1-78354-485-1
Moore, L. J., Petrovan, S. O., Baker, P. J., Bates, A. J., Hicks, H. L., Perkins, S. E., & Yarnell, R. W. (2020) Impacts and Potential Mitigation of Road Mortalityfor Hedgehogs in Europe. Animals [online]. 10 (9), 1523 https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091523
Wembridge, D.E., Newman, M.R., Bright, P.W., & Morris, P.A. (2016) An estimate of the annual number of hedgehog(Erinaceus europaeus)road casualties in Great Britain. Mammal Commun.2, pp. 8–14.
Wilson, E. & Wembridge, D. E. (2018) The State of Britain's Hedgehogs 2018. Available from: https://ptes.org/state-britains-hedgehogs-report-2018/
Started by: Catherine Baker
This ePetition runs from 16/04/2021 to 16/05/2021.
One person has signed this ePetition.