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February 2, 2024

You’ve probably all come across it in the last few weeks. The spiky city dweller that adorns our content. May we now officially introduce him: The brown-breasted hedgehog, our official mascot for FLECS v3.

Every year, the German Wildlife Foundation selects the animal of the year. Criteria for the choice include endangerment, threat to habitat or because it causes a human-wildlife conflict. The aim is to make the public aware of this animal. We at FLECS think this is the right and important goal. That is why we have decided that our mascot should be the animal of the year. As we also publish a new main version every year, the mascot always accompanies it for exactly one year before it is replaced by the next animal of the year. In this way, we make a small contribution to giving these animals another public stage.

This year, the brown-breasted hedgehog has been named Animal of the Year. The brown-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is widespread throughout Germany and Europe. Hedgehogs used to live in the countryside, where there were many richly structured habitats. Today, however, our cultivated landscape is becoming increasingly monotonous, and so they are more frequently found in residential areas with gardens and green spaces. There are now up to nine times as many hedgehogs in cities as in the countryside. Hedgehogs feed on various ground-dwelling animals such as earthworms and insects such as earwigs, beetles and butterfly caterpillars. After dark, they roam their territories in search of food or suitable shelter, often covering several kilometers in one night.

The greatest threat to hedgehogs is humans. Our monotonous cultivated landscape offers hardly any food or places of retreat. Roads and settlements restrict the hedgehog’s habitat, and in tidy gardens and parks they find neither shelter nor food. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of hedgehogs fall victim to cars and mowing robots every year.

If you would like to find out more about the brown-breasted hedgehog, read the profile from the German Wildlife Foundation. And if you now feel the need to do something good for this animal, why not donate a few euros?

You like our hedgehog and you also need a mascot? Then just contact our designer Dominik Ultes (DomDozy(at)gmx.de)!

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