Erinaceus europaeus

European hedgehogs rear young and enter hibernation in New Zealand’s alpine zones

European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) live in New Zealand’s high alpine zones, but it is not known if populations persist in such areas year-round. We hypothesised that hedgehogs respond to the arrival of winter conditions (cold temperatures, snowfall, and lack of available food) by making short-distance altitudinal migrations to lower elevations. We tested this by capturing and fitting GPS/VHF backpacks to six adult female hedgehogs at elevations between 1500 and 1800 m, and by following their movements throughout the austral summer to winter period (January to June) 2020.