Hedgehogs are members of an order of mammals known as the Eulipotyphla, which also includes other curious-looking species such as moles and shrews. Globally, there are 43 proposed species in the hedgehog family (Erinaceidae) only one of which is found in Britain: the Western European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).
The short answer is yes, although there is debate over how significant this threat is.
Hedgehog populations appear to be decreasing, although it's difficult to quantify. Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, tidy gardens, pesticides and badgers may all have a role to play.
Possibly, although drunk-like behaviour is more likely to be a sign the hedgehog is seriously dehydrated.
Yes, hedgehogs are non-territorial and provided they are in good health and a suitable weight seem to respond well to rehabilitation and release back to the wild.
Do hedgehogs carry bovine tuberculosis and/or other diseases that pose a danger to humans or livestock?
Hedgehogs have been implicated in transmission of several diseases, including tuberculosis, foot-and-mouth disease and rabies, but verified cases are rare.
Slugs and snails feature in the diet of hedgehogs, but less often than many people image and it tends only to be the small slugs and small, thin-shelled snails that are taken in any quantity.
There are reports of them eating mice, but these are largely assumed to be carrion and there are no confirmed cases of them killing rodents.
Probably. The evidence so far suggests the risk of poisoning is small, but the pellets may reduce the hedgehog’s prey base and have wider impacts in the ecosystem, so it seems prudent to err on the side of caution.
No one really knows, although the best guestimate suggests there are fewer than a million left in Britain, down from, perhaps, 2 million, in the mid-1990s.
Foxes appear to take hedgehogs only rarely, while badgers can have a significant impact on hedgehog distribution.
Generally speaking, feeding appropriate food in appropriate quantities is fine. There can, however, be some unforeseen consequences to supplementary feeding.
As well as the threat of being run over on them, roads fragment habitat and present pollution challenges to hedgehogs.
Hibernation is more than a winter sleep. It's a complete physiological readjustment.
Evolution works with whatever genes the individual in question has – if a variation doesn’t exist, evolution cannot create it. Thus, we cannot expect something will evolve in a particular way that seems adaptive to us.
A Prickly Affair: My life with hedgehogs - by Hugh Warwick
Penguin Books -- 2008 -- ISBN: 978-1846140655
Dearest Prickles - by Walter & Christl Podushka
Neville Spearman -- 1972 -- ISBN: 978-0854352111
Hedgehogs - by Nigel Reeve
T&AD Poyser Ltd. -- 1996 -- ISBN: 978-0856610813
Hedgehogs - by Pat Morris
Whittet Books -- 2014 -- ISBN: 978-1873580905
Hedgehogs: A comprehensive study - by Konrad Herter
Phoenix House Publications -- 1996 -- ISBN: N/A
Rescuing the Disappearing Hedgehog - by Toni Bunnell
Toni Bunnell -- 2016 -- ISBN: 978-1782808909
St. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital: Jaws the Hedgehog and Other Stories - by Les Stocker
Collins -- 1995 -- ISBN: 978-0006751816
The Complete Hedgehog - by Les Stocker
Chatto & Windus -- 1987 -- ISBN: 978-0701132729
The Day of the Hedgehog - by Hedgehog Street
BHPS / PTES -- 2015
The Disappearing Hedgehog - by Toni Bunnell
Toni Bunnell -- 2014 -- ISBN: 978-1782802365
The Hedgehog - by Pat Morris
The Mammal Society -- 2011 -- ISBN: 978-0906282717
The Hedgehog - by Maurice Burton
Corgi Publishing -- 1969 -- ISBN: 978-0552092104
The Natural Hedgehog - by Lenni Sykes & Jane Durrant
Gaia Books -- 1995 -- ISBN: 978-1856750738
The New Hedgehog Book - by Pat Morris
Whittet Books -- 2006 -- ISBN: 1-873580-71-1
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle - by Beatrix Potter
Collins/Frederick Warne & Co. -- 1905 -- ISBN: 978-0723247753
Wild Britain: Hedgehog - by Louise Spilsbury & Richard Spilsbury
Heinemann Library -- 2004 -- ISBN: 978-0431039381
- British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS)
- English Country Garden
- Happy Hedgehog Rescue
- Hedgehog Bottom
- Hedgehog Research
- Hedgehog Street
- The Hogsprickle
- Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital