Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Field test for environmental correlates of dispersal in hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus

Buy Article:

The full text article is temporarily unavailable.

We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

Abstract

• We report a field experiment designed to explore the responses by hedgehogs to novel and unfavourable terrain, which they encounter when dispersing between fragmented local populations in farmland. We identified four replicate sites as unused by hedgehogs, but lying between existing populations and containing locally abundant food. At each site, we released six hedgehogs from distant sources at 2-day intervals and monitored their subsequent dispersals over 20 days by radio-tracking. We compared movement trajectories under this treatment to those of 29 hedgehogs released at two sites known to support abundant hedgehogs. A third treatment comprised 20 unmanipulated hedgehogs at three sites. We estimated habitat use and proximity to habitats by comparing each observed trajectory to simulated random walks of equal length. We sought differences between treatments in movement and habitat use from nested analysis of variance.

• No two trajectories of any translocated hedgehogs followed the same route; most involved little change in body weight, and took the animal into or through existing populations. Hedgehogs moved substantially further and faster on average from the unfavourable than from the favourable sites. They showed a significantly stronger attraction to habitat edges, which therefore acted as corridors, and a significant proportion of them stayed closer to roads and to urban habitat than random expectation. Habitat preferences also shifted significantly towards urban and away from arable areas. Six were predated, and two killed by road traffic. At least three returned to their release point, with P < 0·05 of this occurring by chance.

• In this region, natural dispersals between populations up to 4 km apart are rare events. We have shown, however, that hedgehogs are capable of travelling distances of up to 3·8 km from a release point, and up to 9·9 km in total, compared to an average home range span of 0·8 km, and it appears that none of the local populations in the study area are out of reach of neighbours.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Monte Carlo simulation; emigration; habitat corridor; habitat fragmentation; random walk

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2001

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more