Hedgehogs live in the wild in the regions of Africa, Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. Native hedgehogs in the wild are absent in Australia, South Asia, and there are not a single alive native species in South and North America though there used to be a long time ago. The over 17 species of hedgehogs are adapted to different climates and habitats. Adaptation techniques in the wild are characterized by spines on the body, ability to hibernate, and nocturnal nature which is supported by an excellent sense of hearing and smell. When under attack, a hedgehog will roll into a ball making the spines point outwards. Though they can be domesticated, hedgehogs are found in the wild in different continents as outlined below.
Hedgehogs’ Wild Habitat in Europe
European hedgehogs thrive in grasslands, woodlands, and meadows. The hedgehogs are typically found in areas close to the border with human beings rather than in the remote wilderness. Different species can be found in the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, and parts of the Nordic countries. Chilly weather affects the hedgehogs, making them hibernate to survive the cold winter. In most parts of Europe, hedgehogs can also thrive in mosaic hedges and fields in the countryside of most parts of the southern region. Some species are found in semi-desert regions where there are few predators.
Hedgehogs’ Wild Habitat in Africa
The African hedgehogs are predominantly found in dry and warm climates. The eastern and central parts of Africa host most of the hedgehogs because of terrain characterized by grassland, woodland, and sometimes rocky features where hedgehogs camouflage. Native hedgehogs thrive mostly due to the availability of insects and the warm climate. Though they live in the wild, they tend to avoid dense forest areas and swamps but are found on well-drained soil which allows breeding of numerous insects and other small invertebrates. There is little hibernation activity due to warm climatic conditions of Africa. The wild is vast enough for digging, exercising, and foraging activities that make the hedgehogs thrive.
Hedgehogs’ Wild Habitat in Asia
Native hedgehogs are found in central Asia and parts of the Middle East. The long-eared hedgehog breed is most common in China, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Asian Hedgehogs avoids the desert and mountainous terrain but thrive in grassy regions adjacent to forests or source of water. The rocky and desert terrain of Israel, Afghanistan, and Iran is a native habitat of some hedgehogs. Human civilization and moderate climates attract hedgehogs making them migrate from the wild from time to time.
Hedgehogs’ Wild Habitat in Australia and America
Hedgehogs are not natives of Australia and America therefore not found in the wild. Here hedgehogs are kept as pets where the law allows with the most common being the African pygmy species. However, a small number of hedgehogs can be spotted in parks, gardens and across hedges. Hedgehogs were also introduced to wildlife in New Zealand and some sections of the islands of Scotland. Living in the wild enables hedgehogs to adapt hence reproduce and raise young ones. Lack of predators in the wild makes hedgehogs have a comparatively long lifespan for their size with some recording up to 16 years.