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House of Lords written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the reported decline of a third in the numbers of hedgehogs in the past 10 years; what are the reasons for the decline; and whether they will take any steps to reverse it.

Photo of Lord de Mauley Lord de Mauley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Since the 1990s, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and other organisations have provided evidence of continued decline in hedgehog numbers and that the population may have decreased by approximately 25% over the past 10 years.

Under the work to develop the implementation plan for Biodiversity 2020, the Government's strategy for England's wildlife and ecosystem services, Natural England has commissioned work to review all species classified in accordance with Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to identify the causes of the decline and priorities for action. The hedgehog is being considered within this context by the Mammal Taxon Group which comprises specialist organisations, led by Natural England.

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