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Encouraging wildlife.

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Toddy, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. maximus otter

    maximus otter Member

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    You’re doing the right things: Well done!

    Here are some hints about what to look for to confirm that you have a piggy presence:

    https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/about-hedgehogs/tracks-and-signs/

    Try putting out a feeding station, or even just some food in a saucer surrounded by branches to deny larger pests like foxes or cats. Surround it with smooth sand, and see if the telltale pawprints appear.

    maximus otter
     
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  2. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    They like to sleep in a ball of old leaves I believe. When I last lived at my parents house their outhouse (actually a double long drop) had a load of leaves in it. We often found hogs in there. Actually you heard them first. Seriously loud sleepers! A loud, snuffley snoring sound.

    One thing do not kill slugs by poison if you're a gardener. I had to take a poorly hog to the nearest vet's. No local sanctuary at the time. It didn't survive. I knew it was bad because it was out in the open in the middle of the day and not moving just shaking a little. Poor blighter.

    They're such beautiful animals. So sad that most people only ever see dead ones. They're good little runners. I find them funny, a little ball of spikes with 3 little legs. When not moving they're hunkered down. When they decide to move the body just lifts up a little and those busy little legs go for it!
     
  3. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I live in a little town on the side of a canal. The other side is a former quarry where they're going to build houses eventually. Walking the dog last night I saw some deer over there and I've seen the splash and disappearing tail of an otter.

    Imho the canal and the quarry with it's trees make for a good animal habitat and corridor. I sincerely hope they don't build the 650 new houses there as planned. Btw I heard from a local who grew up playing in those quarry woods that there's rare newts there. But as usually happened the impact surveys never find the rarer, protected species.
     
  4. Deekin

    Deekin Full Member

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    I think the best way to go about things if you have your own ground is to make it as wildlife friendly as possible. There's plenty of good info on the web (RSPB etc) I had hedgehogs in my old garden, and they "lived" under the shelter of a Lawson Cypress hedge. Now, living in an urban environment with a high walled garden, there are also hedgehogs, living under a large Lawson Cypress hedge. There are also some huge rabbits, possibly because of the lack of cats in the area. Animals are possibly a bit like humans, they tend to thrive in areas where they are comfortable and not threatened.
     
  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    It may be worth remembering that if you feed ( and hopefully increase) any wildlife it is important to continue doing so.
    Be feeding them you increase the numbers in an ‘unnatural’ way, and they can not sustain themselves without your help.

    Stop feeding them and the numbers will fall to the numbers that the environment can sustain without your help.

    I find it incredibly pleasurable to watch wildlife, and even get used to us.
     
  6. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Dense populations are inevitably hit with pestilence or famine or both. Ecological observations, not theory.
    That's why I recommended that you work on the plant community.
    That's how you change the carrying capacity. It may have peaked already.
    Just watch. The animal populations will hit some other limit in their environment.
     
  7. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    We’ve found a couple of dead hedgehogs recently but really pleased to find that the trailcam in the barn caught one on film last night - possibly on a hot date with the brush in the foreground! ;)

    47CFDD51-75C2-454B-BEB5-579173457F18.jpeg

    No sign of the hoghouse I built a couple of years ago being used. I found a dead one in there in late summer and despite giving it a good clean and disinfect, it may not smell right to them. I might give it another clean and move it to a new location.
     
  8. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    That's a sad thing to find dead hedgepigs. The early winter isn't too good for the small ones as they don't reach hibernation weight.
    If it's possible leave some chicken flavour cat food out nearby so they can feed up.
    I have a hedgepig home that hasn't been used this year and probably won't as my new neighbour behind me put up a solid new fence at the rear of my property. Much needed as the old one was dangerously rotten but no holes for them to get through anymore. He is not keen on a hole in his pristine new fence either.
    Ah well:(
     
  9. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Is it not weird how we humans try our best to save some animals, but try our best to exterminate other?

    Yesterday afternoon I killed a baby Green Iguana. He was eating the Passion Fruit leaves and flowers..
     
  10. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I only kill what I will eat or is a real serious threat to me and mine. What does iguana taste like? :)
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I know you do not expect this answer:
    Yep, I have eaten them. Even my wife has. The meat is greyish-whitish ( think a young chicken leg).
    Very nice, slightly aromatic taste. They are pure Vegan, and love eating flowers.

    Very tricky to prepare for cooking, bones are very thin. Locals/central Americans leave the bones in, but I deboned them.
    I have only prepared bigger ones. If you are lucky you got a female with eggs inside.

    The way to cook them is in a type of mild curry. ( I was given the recipe by a local friend) Then you placed the eggs at the end of the cook.

    The eggs taste like chicken eggs, have a soft skin as shell, all egg yolk. No egg white.

    Delicacy in Central America.

    They are almost all culled away here. 1.1 million out of estimated 1.3-1.4 million.
    The cullers get 6 USD a dead Green Iguana.
     
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  12. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    The culling is to try to make sure the indigenous Blue Iguana can survive and spread.


    Same problem as in UK, the Grey Squirrel/Red Squirrel problem.
     
  13. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    On the contrary :); I know they are eaten, I was just curious as to what they are like.
     
  14. Billy-o

    Billy-o Native

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    Interesting. It'll be fun trawling around trying to work out which word predates which .. hog or pig. Cup of tea and a digestive, I think.
     
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  15. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Hedgehogs take like pork. Not bacon, not ham, but pork.
    I was very little, we were camping down the Gareloch, and a car hit one. My Dad had lived wild on Rannoch Moor in the 1930's while he recovered from rheumatic fever...no NHS, no social security back then...he hunted when he was able, and hedgehogs were fairly plentiful then. He had no qualms about roadkill, so this one was wrapped up in mud and baked on our fire. The mud baked hard and came off like bits of thick eggshell, and took the prickles, etc., with it. Not a lot of meat on a hedgehog, even a biggish one, think small chicken, sort of, but more than on a squirrel. Anyway, it tastes like pork.
    So do we apparently.

    M
     
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  16. Billy-o

    Billy-o Native

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    I thought we tasted of milk, analgesics and antibiotics ... and Axe
     
  17. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Animals taste ( slightly) of the food they eat - we ate chicken that tasted of fish back in the 1970’s ( pelleted fishmeal).
    So do pigs. Apparently.

    So I guess we humans taste different depending on our cultural background?
    Scots taste of Malt and fried Mars Bars? English of curry?

    I taste definitely of fish. Beer infused fish!

    Hedgehog was a favourite food of the Eastern European Roma. I guess it was one of the few meats they could get hold of, that and ‘liberated’ chicken.

    I will miss iguana. Only had it a couple of times a year, but it was nice.
     
  18. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Hedge hogs are pet stock here. I had a student years ago who was breeding them for sale in a pet shop.
    Whatever floats your boat. He was up to the 7th or 8th generation.

    HH look like stunted Echidna to me. Somehow, can't imagine eating them.

    Animals do get tainted by what they eat, even the biochemistry of how they were slaughtered.
    Here, the bison taste sweeter if they had a wet summer with good juicy grass and shrubbery to eat.
    Not much, but enough that you can taste the difference, side by side with meat from a year earlier.
     
  19. Billy-o

    Billy-o Native

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    Always got told as a kid to avoid hedgehogs because of their fleas.
     
  20. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Don't they have a flea species that doesn't bother humans? I once got told that but earlier on as a kid the fleas bit was used by primary school teachers to stop us kids poking a dead hh in the school field once.

    It made the nature classes fun when we got told to go out and look for interesting things. Dead hh appeared prominently on every lad's list. Sometimes graphically described.

    Personally, it's more of a treat to me then and now to see them alive and running away. Although funny when you catch them sleeping. Sound like me sleeping when I've got a cold! :)
     
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