Seasonal abundance patterns and dietary preferences of hedgehogs at Trounson Kauri Park

Richard Hendra
The hedgehog has not been widely studied in the conservation context in New Zealand. As an introduced mammal, its role in New Zealand ecosystems is not well understood. Through the use of three years of trapping data from Trounson Kauri Park in Northland, and the analysis of 51 gut samples taken over a one-year period from Trounson, seasonal patterns of abundance and diet of hedgehogs were investigated. Fluctuations in hedgehog numbers occurred throughout the three-year period , with lows in
more » ... d , with lows in winter and peaks in late summer and autumn. A decrease in hedgehog abundance was noted in the second year following control. Seasonal diet patterns were also observed, with a range of prey items being taken, depending on their availability throughout the year. Agricultural pest species such as Heteronychus arator and Teleogryllus commodus were commonly taken prey items.