St. Andrew's Douzaine, Guernsey

Wildlife (Water & Food).

Well our Summer really heated up with a vengeance this year!  With the arrival of Autumn, the recent, refreshing rains and cooler temperatures have provided much needed relief for us humans as well as the flora and fauna with which we share the environment.  Wildlife and especially our hedgehogs will be doing what they can to finish rearing their young and soon begin trying to build-up their fat reserves ready for the Winter ahead.  Our birds and hedgehogs have been rearing their young under very difficult conditions, so will probably be in relatively poor condition; supplementary feeding by sympathetic humans will do a lot to help them all survive the Winter.  See further down this page for information on feeding.

Like us, wild birds need a constant supply of clean water and plenty of food, perhaps also including a bit of fruit. To minimise the risks of diseases spreading amongst our wild birds it is important to ensure that their drinking water is regularly changed and all feeders, bird baths and bowls etc., are regularly scrubbed clean.

Hedgehogs also continue to need easily accessible, clean water, as well as the appropriate food, but on NO ACCOUNTS feed them bread and milk – that will kill them. If you have a veg patch, you will have no better ally to protect your crops from slugs than your local hedgehog.  Please remember that slug pellets and hedgehogs are another fatal combination; scooped out, half orange skins placed upside down amongst your veg are a very good and safe alternative to using poisons.

A lot of hedgehogs are maimed or killed every year due to strimmers – the injuries are usually horrific, so please also be very careful if using any powered equipment, including strimmers and don’t forget to look under bonfires before igniting them, in case there are any hedgehogs sheltering or hibernating underneath.

If hedgehogs are seen out in the daytime, then is likely to be something seriously wrong and they are probably sick and in urgent need of help. Carefully place them in a box (so that they don’t waddle off into the undergrowth to die a slow death), while you go off to phone the GSPCA on 01481 257261 for advice.  Likewise, if you find any lean and underweight hedgehogs during the approach of Winter, these will also need our help.  As a general guide an adult hedgehog should weigh at least 600gms in order to have enough reserves to survive hibernation.  Again, the GSPCA is always available with expert advice and assistance.

The links below have some useful information about feeding garden birds and hedgehogs.

http://www.gspca.org.gg/animals/wildlife-advice

E-mail:- admin@gspca.org.gg

https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw/gardens-wildlife/garden-birds/feeding

E-mail: – chris.mourant@yahoo.co.uk

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds/

E-mail: mikebairds@cwgsy.net

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Hedgehog Information.
https://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/top-navigation/wildlife-advice/hedgehog-fact-sheet.html

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/inthewild/gardenhedgehogs

or consult GSPCA.

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***Recent Hot Weather Advice received from Steve Byrne at GSPCA:

HOT WEATHER ADVICE – Help our hedgehogs

Submitted by Steve on 14:41, 10th Jul, 2018 | 0

With the exceptionally warm weather it has been exceptionally busy at the GSPCA.

One of the biggest casualties being effected have been hedgehogs and the GSPCA is appealing for islanders to do all they can to help our prickly friends.

From dehydrated baby hedgehogs to those covered in fly eggs and maggots we have helped 32 hedgehogs since the start of this month.

Two baby hoglets that were found dehydrated close to death were Minnie and Britany who has her picture above.

Britany was found very weak on Queens Road on Sunday and Minnie came in so flat she could hardly move, found on Rohais de Haut, but after around the clock care and specialist milk both are now doing well.

It is important that wildlife has access to fresh water in hot weather, especially our hedgehogs and the GSPCA is urging islanders to pop a shallow bowl out to help those thirsty spiky friends.

It is important to put water out and NOT milk as this can make hedgehogs unwell.

Food sources that can also help hedgehogs in this weather is Spikes tinned or trayed hedgehog food which is on sale at the GSPCA and other local pet stores or tinned cat food, but NOT those containing fish. Tinned wet food helps rehydrate hedgehogs with the moisture content while giving them the nutrients they require.

We have had a number of hedgehogs found with injuries from strimmers, lawn mowers and hedge cutters and it is important to help hedgehogs by checking the areas you are cutting before you start.

For those hedgehogs in gardens that are not so lucky, they often find their cuts quickly covered in the warm weather with flies laying their eggs which hatch into maggots.

If you find any sick or injured hedgehogs then they will need the help of the GSPCA.

The easiest way to pick up a prickly hedgehog is by covering them with a towel, jumper or coat so you don’t get spiked and then placing them into a box or container with air holes.

The GSPCA in St Andrews is manned 24/7 and our 24/7 emergency helpline for our Animal Ambulance is 257261.

With 107 hedgehogs currently in our care and with our foster carers hand rearing, we are extremely busy caring for many that are already sick or injured with more coming in every day and night.

It is important if you see a hedgehog out during the day to give us a call for advice as it may well need help as they are rarely awake foraging during daylight hours, although mothers occasionally can be seen in the day trying to eat extra to help care for their young.

With over 550 hedgehogs through the doors last year and 179 through the doors already this year we want to thank all those that have found hedgehogs in need and rescued them and also to those that help hedgehogs by putting out fresh food, water and even hedgehog houses as well as keeping wild areas for them to live and use.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “The last few weeks we have been exceptionally busy and especially with baby birds and very dehydrated hedgehogs and many found with injuries from gardening tools.”

“On Thursday night we had a hoglet so dehydrated she could hardly move and on Sunday night another.”

“With our intensive care units, regular special hedgehog milk and a lot of care I managed to ensure both Minnie and Britany got back on their feet and we have many baby hoglets currently in our care.”

“All of the GSPCA team are appealing to islanders to think about pets and wildlife during this exceptionally warm weather.”

“We have seen so many hedgehogs being cut by garden tools and covered by maggots, babies weak from dehydration and many over burdened in ticks and fleas.”

“We are now into the very busy hedgehog period that we see each year as many babies are born and many are injured by gardening.”

“From putting out fresh water for hedgehogs to wet food like Spikes or tinned cat food, but not fish, can also really help.”

“There are many other great snacks from meal worms to nuts but with the warm weather food with moisture content is much better for them.”

“We are on site at the GSPCA 24/7 and have our emergency line 257261 so if you find a hedgehog in need we are here to help.”

For advice on what to do if you see a wild animal injured or sick please call 257261 or check out these helpful web pages – http://www.gspca.org.gg/animals/wildlife-advice