Hedgehog Facts - Hibernation


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Why do Hedgehogs go into Hibernation?

Hedgehogs hibernate for one simple reason: to survive the winter. Because hedgehogs feed on insects (more on feeding), food becomes scarce in the cold of winter. Hedgehogs cannot live on snow, so they have to do something to remedy this problem! So they go to sleep. But not just any sleep. Hedgehog hibernation. During hibernation, the metabolism rate of hedgehogs falls dramatically, so hedgehogs burn much less fat. Doing this, they are able to survive the winter with no (or little) food.

Where do Hedgehogs go during Hibernation?

Hedgehogs nest in a hibernaculum throughout the winter, although they may wake up several times. The nest is about 20" (50cm) in diameter. The hedgehogs nest are mostly made of leaves, grass and various other plants. Hedgehogs will also nest in semi-manmade structures, such as a pile of logs, or purposefully manmade hedgehog nests, in the form of wooden nest boxes. Hedgehogs, however, will often wake up during hibernation and move to another nest, possibly built by itself or by another hedgehog. One hedgehog will often build more than one nest, so because of this there are of this there are often more nests than hedgehogs, and it is not uncommon to find a hedgehog nest not containing a hedgehog.