Sweden's hedgehog population: at risk?

Hedgehogs could be on the brink of disappearing throughout many parts of Sweden, reports news agency TT.

They are one of the oldest surviving mammal families and used to be common in this Nordic nation. But an ongoing survey in the southwest shows that the needle-covered creatures are becoming less common in the countryside. Instead, they seem to live in heavily populated districts.

"It seems that they are only in the cities, at least so far as the area that this study is concerned with," biologist Mattias Olsson, one of the leaders of the survey, told news agency TT.

Lars-Åke Janzon, a zoologist with the natural history museum in Stockholm told TT that this does not necessarily indicate an emergency situation. He said that local variation in the population is often large. He added that it is almost impossible to keep track of hedgehogs.

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