This new study from Haigh et al. reveals aspects of hedgehog ecology through the study of carcasses on Ireland's roads. In corroboration with previous studies, the research found higher sightings of males than females, particularly in the height of the breeding season. Unlike other studies of hedgehogs in the UK, the research found that hedgehogs used a greater proportion of arable land than what was available to them. This should make us take stock of the greater number of hedgerows in Ireland than in England and the habitat structure, in order to improve arable land in England for hedgehogs, where they are severely in decline. Equally as important, the study also finds that hedgehogs appear to cross in key spots each year which could be vital in creating safe crossings for hedgehogs.
Over the three years, the majority of the 133 carcasses sighted were located beside pasture, which was the most prominent habitat along both routes. Arable land was the only habitat used in a greater proportion than what was available. K-function analysis detected clustering along the surveyed roads, with fatalities clustering annually at several locations. This would suggest that hedgehogs may use specific crossing points which would be important for the implementation of management strategies and underpass construction. Of the 135 hedgehog carcasses collected from throughout Ireland there was significantly more males than females collected, with peaks in male deaths occurring in May and June. Female deaths only outnumbered males in August, with further peaks in female deaths observed in June and July.