Gloves are always advised. In most of my work it has been nitrile gloves that protect my hands from Jaguar poop, Slimy Salamander secretions, and cleaning bones with Hydrogen peroxide. But for a few individual cases, I've been glad to have gloves with a bit more protection. Today it was wrangling a hedgehog that was either curled up tightly, or trying to escape. Now the gloves may seem a bit much, they aren't porcupine quills, but without gloves I had issues with the spines puncturing the skin enough to know that a wriggly hedgehog needed gloves to handle. Especially when I tried to pick it up and it closed around my hand, giving me the sensation of a hundred toothpicks trying to burrow into my fingers. No wonder these mammals native to Eurasia and Africa have evolved such an effective defense.
Conservation for hedgehogs varies across their entire range, but many are in decline. A major obstacle for hedgehogs is urbanization and fragmentation of habitat. In London, England the backyard gardens that used to connect hedgehog habitat are now an impediment to their survival as fencerows and bricks block their roaming from one to another. In Africa, the pet trade is a major detriment to the several hedgehog species that live there. Whether it is making a backyard more desirable for the wandering hedgehog or ensuring to purchase a pet from reputable breeders, we can all do little things that have a large impact on these charismatic species.
|Clark DeHart Wildlife Films||
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