The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Abundance of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in relation to the density and distribution of badgers (Meles meles)

Young, R.P., Davison, J., Trewby, I.D., Wilson, G.J., Delahay, R.J. and Doncaster, C.P. (2006) Abundance of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in relation to the density and distribution of badgers (Meles meles) Journal of Zoology, 269, (3), pp. 349-356. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00078.x).

Record type: Article


Badgers Meles meles are intraguild predators of hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus and have been shown to have a major effect on their abundance and behaviour at a localized scale. Previous studies have predicted the exclusion of hedgehogs from rural habitats in areas where badgers are abundant. The two species coexist at the landscape scale, however, as hedgehogs use suburban habitats, which are thought to provide a refuge from the effects of badger predation. We carried out surveys of hedgehog abundance and studied the use of spatial refugia by hedgehogs in relation to badger density and distribution in 10 study sites in the Midlands and south-west regions of England. Surveys confirmed that hedgehogs were almost absent from pasture fields in rural habitats, with their distribution concentrated in amenity grassland fields in suburban areas. However, although suburban habitats are less frequently used by badgers than rural areas, and therefore represented spatial refugia for hedgehogs, the probability of occurrence and abundance of hedgehogs varied in relation to the density of badger setts in the surrounding area. As sett density increased, both the probability of occurrence of hedgehogs and their abundance decreased. A generalized linear model predicted that the probability of hedgehog occurrence in suburban habitats declined towards zero in areas of high badger density. The most probable explanation is the negative effect of high badger abundance on the ability of hedgehogs to move between patches of suburban habitat. The present study concords with results from previous surveys and experimental studies, which found a strong negative spatial relationship between hedgehogs and badgers. It also provides correlative evidence that intraguild predation can exclude intraguild prey from productive habitats.

PDF Young_et_al_&_Doncaster_2006_J_Zool.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (201kB)

More information

Published date: July 2006
Keywords: habitat selection, intraguild predation, predation risk, predator-prey, spatial refugia


Local EPrints ID: 39154
ISSN: 0952-8369
PURE UUID: ed101c55-47ef-45ed-97fe-2c4531a0a52e
ORCID for C.P. Doncaster: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Jun 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:37

Export record



Author: R.P. Young
Author: J. Davison
Author: I.D. Trewby
Author: G.J. Wilson
Author: R.J. Delahay
Author: C.P. Doncaster ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.