124 hedgehogs rescued over six months

HSBC Malta Foundation’s support of hedgehog conservation bearing fruit

A total of 124 hedgehogs have been rescued over the last six months through a joint Nature Trust Malta and HSBC Malta Foundation project aimed at safeguarding the existence of the protected mammals on the islands.

During this time, a total of 60 road signs have also been installed near known habitat areas of hedgehogs in Malta and Gozo. At least 20 more signs have been requested by local councils.

Referred to as the Algerian or North African Hedgehog (Atelerix algirus), the hedgehog is a native to the Maltese islands and has no real predator. Its number one killer is motor vehicles.

Due to the heightened awareness the campaign has created, several calls have been received in the first half of the year from people keeping hedgehogs as pets not knowing that species are protected in Malta. Once notified, owners have voluntarily returned the hedgehogs for rehabilitation and eventual release.

The campaign, which is part of the ‘Hedgehog Conservation and Rehabilitation of Injured Hedgehogs’, is carrying out at least two hedgehog rescues per day as a result of calls on an emergency line. The project includes a hedgehog adoption campaign to fund medical and rehabilitation costs of injured, or orphaned hedgehogs. The aim of all rescues is to release hedgehogs back into the wild.

The hedgehog rescue hotline is 9999 9505. To adopt a hedgehog, information can be obtained at [email protected].