Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Mammals

Eastern European hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor)

Description

The Eastern European hedgehog is very similar to the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), but it is very easy to recognize it because of its white spot on his chest. The animal appears brownish with most of its body covered by up to 6,000 brown and white spines. It is a nocturnal species, he sleeps most of the day under cover of a bush, rock or in a hole in the ground.

Habitat

The Eastern European hedgehog has a very wide range of habitat, but mostly prefer urban areas. This species is generally nocturnal, however, in April and May it is possible to see one during daytime while it is looking for a mate.

Diet

The Eastern European hedgehog is an omnivorous mammals and eats a range of garden pests. It feeds mainly on invertebrates like slugs, earthworms, beetles, caterpillars and other insects. Besides that they also eat fruits and mushrooms.

Protection status

The Hedgehog is currently listed as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List. No special conservation needs at this moment.

Interesting facts

Leucistic or 'blonde' hedgehogs occasionally surface. These animals are believed to have a pair of rare recessive genes, giving rise to their black eyes and creamy-colored spines; however, they are not strictly speaking albino. They are extremely rare, except on North Ronaldsay and the Channel Island of Alderney where around a fourth of the population is estimated to be leucistic or 'blonde'.

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