Common name: Hedgehog
Scientific name: Erinaceous europaeus
Management programme: Site-led

Why are they a pest?

Hedgehogs are only considered pests in the site-led programmes in Dunedin, to protect their high biodiversity values. They may be tiny and cute but are potentially a serious predator of native invertebrates (animals without a backbone or bony skeleton), lizards and ground-nesting birds. They mainly eat insects but will eat a wide range of food if given the chance.

What do they look like?

Hedgehogs are known for their spiny backs and they roll into a prickly ball when they’re frightened or hibernating. They are nocturnal and can live in a wide range of habitats.

What are the rules?

Under Otago’s pest plan, hedgehogs are only classified as a pest in the site-led areas; Otago Peninsula, West Harbour/Mt Cargill, Quarantine Island and Goat Island. 

The goal is to assist communities in the site-led areas to sustainably control hedgehogs to prevent or improve on damage to the indigenous ecosystem values at these sites.

There is only one rule for hedgehogs that applies to the site-led areas and that is that no one can keep, hold, enclose or otherwise harbour hedgehogs in these areas. You also can’t bring them into the site-led areas.

How will we achieve that?

ORC will take a lead role in supporting the goals of community groups and agencies in site-led areas in relation to hedgehogs. This may be through advice, education, funding, service delivery or requiring landowners to undertake control when needed.

Management programme

Page last updated 26 June 2024.