Nature Trust Malta relaunches the hedgehog campaign
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Nature Trust (Malta) said that it has been observing and also getting a large number of reports of hedgehogs squashed by cars on our streets. For this reason, the NGO will be embarking on a campaign that it had already done in the early 1980s to create awareness on hedgehogs and encourage drivers to be cautious on those roads where sightings of this animal are common.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, meaning that they are active at night and sleep during the day. They feed mainly on insects, slugs, snails, frogs, lizards and other small animals. The adult can grow up to around 25cms and becomes inactive when the temperature goes below 18C although they do not hibernate. Hedgehogs have their young around between May and October.
They stop when they see bright lights, especially headlights of vehicles and it is this that is the main cause of their fatality since many are hit or run over intentionally by some drivers.
The NGO continued by saying that it appeals to all drivers to drive carefully in those areas where hedgehogs are commonly seen, such as Buskett, Zurrieq, Pembroke and Mosta. NTM said it also urges Local Councils to put up caution road signs in such localities, as was done by the Pembroke Local Council a few months ago to warn drivers. The initiative by the Pembroke LC was very effective. Therefore, with a little attention more hedgehogs can be spared
The hedgehog is a protected species in the Maltese Islands but its numbers are decreasing.
Photograph above was sent in by one of our readers, it shows a hedgehog squashed by a car on the road from Munxar ( near the ex-Andar Hotel ) to Xlendi, close to the Xlendi Valley.
The reader said that several hedgehogs get squashed by cars in this area every year and that Munxar Local Council must act and erect a sign post (Like many other countries do, to warn about such wild life) to warn drivers about the hedgehogs in the area.