We’re back for another year of Hedgehog Watch and would love for you to be a part of this citizen science study!
Hedgehogs are one of the UK’s most-loved species, but populations are declining at a rapid rate. They face a number of threats including changes in the way we manage built-up areas, increased traffic on our roads and intensive farming practices. Gardens, parks and other green spaces can provide great habitats for hedgehogs. This means we all have the opportunity to offer hedgehogs a helping hand.
What do we want to do?
We’re looking for local residents who want to ACT FOR WILDLIFE by surveying their back garden using motion-activated cameras. The images collected from YOUR back garden will then feed into a big citizen science project. In 2022 we were able to monitor over 250 gardens during the study, and our cameras took over 280,000 images! We found that just over half of participants had hedgehogs visiting their back gardens, but we need more data in 2023 to build up an even more accurate picture of how hedgehogs use our green spaces. To learn more from this data we are now in the process of setting up a Chester Zoo supported PhD student as a Chester Zoo Conservation Scholar, who will analyse the data and help us to learn more about the exact habitat features needed for hedgehogs to thrive.
The map below shows some of the locations that we’ve previously had cameras as part of this project. It’s important to remember that it’s still really important data when hedgehogs aren’t found, as we can build a picture of garden features that do and don’t attract them.
Who can take part?
You can join our team of Citizen Scientists if you:
- Have a back garden or access to a private green space (e.g. school grounds) that is located inside the area shown on the map below. You would need to make sure that everyone who has access to the space is aware there is a camera there (images of people are removed as part of the study however!)
- Are happy to complete an online training session about how to use a motion-activated camera
- Agree to register as a Chester Zoo volunteer via the online system ‘Better Impact’ and log the time that you spend engaging with the project
- Can commit to installing a camera in your garden for three weeks between March and October 2023
Is your garden or green space inside the blue square?
Then you’re eligible to take part in Hedgehog Watch!
Can I take part in the project again, if I was involved last year?
We’d love for you to be a part of this project again! The more data the better. If you’ve made any changes to features in your garden since last time, please let us know as it will be interesting to see from the camera whether this changes the wildlife attending your garden!
Visit our Community Hub and read some AMAZING stories to discover how people from all over the world are helping to prevent extinction by acting for wildlife.
NOW is the time to ACT FOR WILDLIFE. Conservation is CRITICAL; species are under threat. TOGETHER we can make a BIG difference. Take action TODAY and join us in PREVENTING EXTINCTION.
OUR TEAM OF EXPERTS WORK IN SIX REGIONS AROUND THE GLOBE – REPRESENTING SOME OF THE PLANET’S MOST BIODIVERSE HABITATS. Discover more about our SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION work.