Badgers can predate hedgehogs, as they are one of the few animal capable of unrolling a curled hedgehog. Badgers and hedgehogs share the same primary food source: beetles and other invertebrates, meaning that in areas where both species are present, there is increased competition for food. However, available evidence does NOT suggest that badgers are a significant driver of hedgehog decline. Hedgehogs actively avoid badger-populated areas, and hedgehogs are declining in both rural areas and urban areas, where badgers are less common. Places with suitable habitat and plenty of available food can and do support stable populations of both hedgehogs and badgers.
Fox, badger and hedgehog numbers
At the end of winter, when numbers are lowest, there are 258,000 adult foxes in Britain, of which 225,000 live in rural areas, 33,000 in urban areas. Around 425,000 cubs are born each spring.
There are approximately 288,000 badgers in the United Kingdom. This may seem like a large number, but an estimated 45,000 are killed in road accidents every year.
In the 1950s it was estimated there were 36.5 million hedgehogs in Britain, but this was based on limited data and was probably an overestimate. A more recent estimate in 1995, of 1,550,000 in Great Britain (England 1,100,000, Scotland 310,000, Wales 140,000), is more reliable.