Post-release location tracking will provide information on the home-range, behaviour and some indication of the health of the animal. There are several possible methods available for location monitoring.
A new GPS tracker is being designed which will be able to transmit GPS information wirelessly to a base station where the data are stored to disk. In the event of the animal being out of range of the base station the data are stored on the tracker and then transmitted to the base station when the animal moves back into range. Multiple base stations and mobile hand held devices can be used to extend the coverage if required. Each base station can log an unlimited number of animals. The base station will run constantly so that it is able to receive transmissions from any GPS loggers in the area, thus having higher power requirements.
Currently SWCC are operating a tracking programme using a temporary blue ID badge. If you see one and it is safe to take a note of the number without touching or distressing the hedgehog, then please do so and register the sighting here.
All research into the animals is overseen by the Hedgehog Scientific Advisory Board.
Native Species Survey
Additionally, the Park’s Green team co-ordinates an annual Bio-Blitz in May to survey the wildlife park grounds for all varieties of native flora and fauna species. This data contributes to the national picture of our wildlife health. Nationally the Environment Agency are the lead body with the support of organisations such as The Wildlife Trust who advise on local populations. In the zoo industry BIAZA monitors the species through a native species working group.