Roads and Cars

With between 100,000 and 200,000 road casualties each year, hedgehogs account for 16% of road-kill and are the second most likely animal to fall victim to cars or lorries. Based on road-kill surveys conducted by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), hedgehog numbers in England have noticeably fallen every year since 2001. Research suggests this decline could be partially attributed to hedgehogs’ poor awareness of roads: whereas rabbits exhibit alarm when vehicles approach within 161 metres, (giving them roughly six seconds to get out of the way of a car travelling at 60mph), hedgehogs only respond once a vehicle is within hearing range (approximately 8 metres). Further, the hedgehog’s natural defence of curling up in a ball provides no protection against a speeding vehicle.

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