Have you spotted spiky wildlife on your farm?

Have you seen a hedgehog lately? If you have the Irish Hedgehog Survey wants to hear about it.

The survey, run by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and NUI Galway, plans to gather information on the distribution and population of hedgehogs across Ireland.

Researchers involved in the Irish Hedgehog Survey would like to receive information on any sightings of live or dead hedgehogs using the Irish Hedgehog Survey recording form.

As well as collecting data on casual hedgehog sightings, organisers of the survey are also looking for volunteers to participate in a more focused survey. This involves the use of footprint tunnels or camera traps in the garden.

The survey has been running since the start of June and will continue until the end of September.

Farmers are also invited to fill out a questionnaire so that researchers can find out about hedgehogs on farmland and in the Irish countryside.

Where and when to find them

Hedgehogs can be found on farmland, in woodland, gardens and parks. They avoid wet areas and conifer plantations and are not commonly found in upland areas.

Hedgehogs are often found in habitats which have good cover such as bushes and hedgerows which provide shelter, food and corridors to travel through the countryside.

Hedgehogs are most active from April to October and hibernate over winter, but they may wake up to feed if the winter is mild.

They are nocturnal animals and emerge at night time to feed on insects, beetles and small invertebrates such as millipedes and snails.

The badger is the main predator of hedgehogs in Ireland.