A prickly problem: developing a volunteer-friendly tool for monitoring populations of a terrestrial urban mammal, the West European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

Williams, B., Mann, N., Neumann, J.L., Yarnell, R.W. ORCID: 0000-0001-6584-7374 and Baker, P.J., 2018. A prickly problem: developing a volunteer-friendly tool for monitoring populations of a terrestrial urban mammal, the West European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). Urban Ecosystems. ISSN 1083-8155

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Abstract

Across Europe, hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) appear to be in decline in both urban and rural landscapes. Current methods used to monitor urban populations are, however, associated with several potential limitations. In this study, we conducted hedgehog footprint-tunnel surveys in 219 residential gardens across Reading, UK between May–September in 2013 and/or 2014; gardens were surveyed for five continuous days. Single-species occupancy models were used to investigate factors influencing hedgehog occupancy and two-species occupancy models were used to estimate a species interaction factor (SIF) between hedgehogs and (a) badgers (Meles meles), (b) foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and (c) dogs (Canis familiaris). The five-day survey protocol was associated with a false-absence error rate of 0.1–0.4%, indicating that it was a reliable method for determining hedgehog presence; conversely, 34.7% of householders were not able to correctly predict hedgehog presence or absence. Hedgehogs were widely distributed across Reading, but detected in only 32–40% of gardens. None of the within-garden or outside-garden factors investigated significantly affected hedgehog occupancy in the single-species models, but the two-species models indicated that badgers (SIF = 0.471 ± 0.188), but not foxes (SIF = 0.954 ± 0.048) or dogs (SIF = 0.780 ± 0.228), negatively affected the presence of hedgehogs in gardens, although not significantly. Overall, footprint-tunnels represent a viable field method for monitoring urban hedgehog populations, however, other approaches are required to identify factors that make gardens "hedgehog friendly".

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Urban Ecosystems
Creators: Williams, B., Mann, N., Neumann, J.L., Yarnell, R.W. and Baker, P.J.
Publisher: Springer
Date: 27 August 2018
ISSN: 1083-8155
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1007/s11252-018-0795-1DOI
795Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Sep 2018 08:51
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2018 08:55
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34547

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