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A body lies motionless on the ground. Small, with a snouty head and covered with spines, it is unquestionably dead before its time. And all of those gathered around the corpse are suspect. So which one of them is responsible for this crime – and for the disappearance of many many thousands of hedgehogs in recent decades?
Is it the car driver, the badger, the farmer, the gardener ..? Who could possibly have it in for a hedgehog? In poll after poll they come out top as our favourite mammal. And yet their numbers are estimated to have halved in less than twenty years. Magnifying glass in hand, Tom Moorhouse investigates the evidence. On a vital mission to bring those responsible to justice, prevent further murder and save a species, he uncovers a story full of twists, turns and uncomfortable truths about the trade-offs that exist between humans and wildlife. But he can also see a solution.
Dr Tom Moorhouse is a conservation research scientist who has worked for twenty years at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, part of Oxford University’s Biology Department. His work has focussed on the conservation ecology of water voles, the management of signal crayfish, hedgehog conservation and the impacts of wildlife.