Hedgehogs given GPS ‘backpacks’ to boost survival rates
Hedgehogs which have been nursed back to health are being fitted with GPS “backpacks” to find out how they go on to survive in the wild.
The 24 hedgehogs, cared for at Shepreth Wildlife Park in Cambridgeshire, will have their movements tracked.
The animals will be released in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire on Wednesday.
Rebecca Willers, chairwoman of Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity, hopes the study can eventually boost survival rates of rehabilitated hedgehogs.
The £150 devices weigh just over 1.8oz (50g) and have been designed for the project by Dr David Wallis of Ecometry Technologies.
An inch-square section of spines will be clipped on each creature’s back with the battery-powered backpacks then glued on.
This will take place as the hedgehog is coming around from an anaesthetic, which will be administered so the charity’s vet can give them a health check.
The tracking device, which uses satellite positioning, will be monitored on a computer.
It will fall off when the animal naturally sheds its spikes in a few months.