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Braided River Status

Abundant along all braided rivers, particularly in lowland areas near farms.


The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), also known as the West European hedgehog or common hedgehog, was introduced into New Zealand in the 1870s in part to make New Zealand more like ‘home’ and in part to control garden grubs and snails. Hedgehogs are a small nocturnal mammal, grey-brown in colour with its back and sides entirely covered with spines, 150-250mm long and maximum weight of 1kg, but their weight can drop dramatically during winter hibernation.

Hedgehog eating eggs

Hedgehog eating eggs

Why is it a problem?

The extent to which hedgehogs impact upon the New Zealand environment is only recently beginning to be understood. In the lower Tekapo, for example, more than half the nest preyed upon were from hedgehogs (Landcare Research).

    • Has a voracious appetite
  • The perception of hedgehogs as endearing and harmless has led to a growth in ‘hedgehog rescue’ groups

Conservation activities

More information

Research papers

For further information on hedgehog ecology and biodiversity impacts, contact Chris Jones: 03 321 9869