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Mammal > Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are easily identified by their spines. The habitats of hedgehogs are diverse and therefore hedgehogs are widespread throughout Austria: They live in undergrowth-rich, light deciduous and mixed forests, but also in grasslands and cultivated landscapes such as gardens. In the urban area, they are mainly found on the outskirts of the city.

How to identify a roadkilled hedgehog?

Hedgehogs can be clearly identified by their spines. Even if the dead hedgehog is lying on the street for a long time, has dried up and has often been run over, the spines are still clear to see.

Why hedgehogs are killed on roads?

In late spring hedgehogs leave their wintering grounds. Males leave the wintering grounds about 3-4 weeks before the females and embark on the search for food and later for mating partners. The mating season begins in late spring (April / May) and ends in September. Hedgehogs are basically loners, only to mate and in the breeding season they can be observed in company. Unlike many other mammals, hedgehogs defend no territorial boundaries. Depending on food availability and potential mating partners, hedgehogs move more or less far away. In order to find enough food, hedgehogs need an area of ​​up to 40 ha. If a high food supply prevails, as in gardens or arable land, the area may also decrease to 5 ha. Basically, males need about twice as much area as females.
In this area requirement it is no surprise that hedgehogs often need to cross a road. As it is well known, hedgehogs are not among the fastest animals (they move at an average speed of 2 m / min.) and therefore need very long to cross a street. Furthermore, they do not have a shortening reaction; on the contrary, hedgehogs put at risk roll up and protect themselves with their spines. Normally a very successful defense strategy, against cars unfortunately ineffective, if not counterproductive, which is reflected in the number of roadkilled hedgehogs on our map.


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