A north-east animal centre has announced plans to microchip every hedgehog they rescue and release amid concerns they are at threat of “possible extinction.”
Hedgehogs have decreased by about 46% over the past 13 years.
Scientists think it is due to an increase in farming, habitat fragmentation in urban areas, and the continuing loss of suitable environment over the years.
The New Arc has announced a programme of micro-chipping all the hedgehogs they release back to the wild.
Last year, the charity received 118 of the spiky creatures, with more than 82% of them surviving.
Over winter, 31 of them stayed at the centre and are now ready to be released into the wild as the weather improves.
A statement posted by the New Arc explained why they would microchip the hedgehogs.
It read: “This long-term project will help us determine the health, longevity, distribution, and success of the work we do, hopefully providing valuable information which will assist in maximising the hedgehog’s survival chances.
“Excluding the cost of chipping, vet treatment, on-going medication, housing, bedding, and heating it costs The New Arc approximately £150 for each hedgehog we overwinter.”
The charity is known for its wildlife rehabilitation across the region, and they hand-rear orphan birds and deal with injured animals.
They are totally funded by donations, sponsors and their charity shops.