The hedgehog

Erinaceus europaeus

The hedgehog’s quills makes it unique and unmistakable. The quills are transformed hair strands and no other animal in Sweden has such an adaptation. But it is not something new for the hedgehog who is a true ancient animal that has existed for 65 million years.


Hedgehogs are a gardener’s friend, as they eat snails, slugs and insects and they seek their food mostly at night. Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November to April and animals must have enough fat reserves to survive hibernation. Mating takes place in spring and 2-10 pups are born after a gestation period of 5-6 weeks. The female takes care of the young herself. They thrive in a variety of man-made habitats including orchards, farmland, parks and gardens, including those in urban areas.

The hedgehog’s tags distinguish it from all other Swedish mammals. The tags are a great defense, especially when the hedgehog curls up into a ball with all the tags standing on end. There are no major threats to this species in most of its range. In some areas, many hedgehogs are killed by collision with cars injured by robotic mowers in gardens.

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Class: Hedgehogs (erinaceidae)

Scientific name: erinaceus europaeus

Conservations status: NT

Size: The body length is 20-30 cm and the height is 10-15 cm. The tail is only 1.5-4 cm.

Weight: 0,5-1 kilo

Number of youngs: 2-10

Did you know that

In ancient times it was said that the hedgehog was the only real enemy of the bear because it could jump into the bear’s mouth and open up the stomach of the bear from within.

The hedgehog is an animal that has been around for 65 million years.

At you can report when you have seen a hedgehog. This means that we can better check the number of hedgehogs in the country.

If you want hedgehogs to thrive in your garden, save a pile of leaves which the hedgehog likes to be in.

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Visit the animals at

Conservation status

Near threatened
Near threatened

Read more about our other animals