The Hungarian Society for Ornithology and Nature Conservation (MME) is calling for the protection of hedgehogs looking for suitable winter shelter during leaf fall, as careless gardening in autumn can endanger the small animals.
As they wrote in a statement, the temporary piles of leaves and reeds piled up when landscaping gardens and parks are an ideal shelter for hedgehogs preparing for their hibernation, which begins when the temperature drops below 8 degrees Celsius. When removing these piles, it is important to watch out for hedgehogs that might be hiding underneath.
To protect hedgehogs, instead of using a pitchfork, the association recommends first using the handle of a tool or a long sturdy stick, then running your gloved hand over the pile from top to bottom to make sure there are no hedgehogs underneath.
The foliage that sticks to the spikes of the hedgehog makes the animal almost invisible. So you should look for a ball shape when approaching the bottom of the pile. The animal, when curled up, often rolls out of the branches and leaves.
It is also important to note that such piles should never be set on fire.
If you come across a hibernating hedgehog while digging around branches, you should pile branches and leaves on top of the animal or create a pile of leaves under the shelter of a nearby shrub and place the hedgehog under it.
This article has originally been published on our sister site Ungarn Heute.
Featured photo via Pixabay