Research on Animals Killed on UK Roads
Recent research has suggested a reduction in the number of Hedgehogs being found dead on the road.
Whilst this prickly issue might just mean that hedgehogs are getting smarter or more street wise, conservationists (who do these type of things) are getting alarmed fearing that this research means there is a severe decline in the hedgehog population. As number found dead have dropped by almost 7.5% since records began in 2001
Unfortunately for an ambitious hedgehog, they have been named as the animal second most likely to be run over, representing around 16% of all deaths, yet despite this they are a distant second to our hoppy mate the rabbit, which holds pole position with over 58% (but then, there are more rabbits).
“You are going to like this”, research suggests that the situation is being made worse as because in tests, hedgehogs proved to have even less road sense than Rabbits. It was found that rabbits exhibited alarm when a vehicle was around 161 metres (530ft) away, giving them on average some six seconds to hop out of the way of the oncoming vehicle traveling at 60mph. Hedgehogs however only spotted the vehicle at around 17 metres away and began to run when a vehicle was 8 meters away, often leading to a tyre being the last thing to go through their mind.
Research at Royal Holloway University in London showed that rabbits can distinguish between a fast moving vehicle and a slow moving vehicle, but despite this, sometimes freeze, instead of hopping out of the way. Clearly, reacting sooner to an oncoming vehicle is a pretty sensible thing to do. Hedgehogs reduced escape time, often led to them to preferring to crouch, or stay still, but their higher crouching position often meant that even if the wheels missed them, they were caught by the underside of the car.
Below are the statistics for the numbers of deaths, although with our business being in Norfolk, we kind of wonder where the Pheasants are? Still research of this nature is important to all of us, as we just thought it was our cats that kept getting run over.
Percentage of animals killed on UK roads:
- 58% Rabbit
- 16.1% Hedgehog
- 4% Grey squirrel
- 3.7% Fox
- 3.4% Badger
- 1.6% Rats
- 1% Deer (including red, fallow, roe and muntjac)
- 1% Small mustelids (including stoat, weasel, polecat and mink)