Archive for Friday, January 9, 2009

Not a native

January 9, 2009

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To the editor:

Contrary to what is stated in Sunday’s newspaper story about legalizing the keep of hedgehogs within the city limits, hedgehogs are not native to New Zealand. They were introduced to New Zealand in the 19th century, presumably for the same reason many European birds were: to make this colony of Britain seem more like “home.”

Like most (or all?) of the introductions into New Zealand, hedgehogs have had adverse impacts on the native flora and fauna. Hedgehogs eat eggs of indigenous birds (many of which are not threatened or extinct). They are liked by gardeners because they eat snails and other pests, but presumably the hedgehogs do not discriminate between native and introduced snails. So, the real threat posed to hedgehogs — like that of any introduced plant or animal — is their escaping and altering the native habitat.

Daphne G. Fautin,
Lawrence

Comments

ralphralph 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, but I just gotta love that Sonic!

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 7 months ago

There was no concerted effort made to question each and every person in Lawrence as to their feelings and thoughts about the hedgehog. If asked, however, most would probably say they had not thought about it one way or the other. Nature is a cycle of life, with predators and prey, and an abundance of both, so I think those who seem to want the other creatures on the planet to be those cute little birdies, singing their little hearts out, muzzle it please.Warning: facts below:A hedgehog is any of the small spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae and the order Erinaceomorpha. There are 16 species of hedgehog in five genera, found through parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. There are no hedgehogs native to Australia, and no living species native to North America; those in New Zealand are introduced. Hedgehogs have changed little over the last 15 million years. Like many of the first mammals they have adapted to a nocturnal, insectivorous way of life. The name 'hedgehog' came into use around the year 1450, derived from the Middle English 'heyghoge', from 'heyg', 'hegge' = hedge, because it frequents hedgerows, and 'hoge', 'hogge' = hog, from its piglike snout. Other folk names include 'urchin', 'hedgepig' and 'furze-pig' .Although traditionally classified in the now abandoned order Insectivora, hedgehogs are not exclusively insectivores but are almost omnivorous. Hedgehogs feed on insects, snails, frogs and toads, snakes, bird eggs, carrion, mushrooms, grass roots, berries, melons, and watermelons.Just trying to be helpful.

Confrontation 6 years, 7 months ago

No, America has to ask: Why would you let your child be on Fox & Friends? That should be considered a form of abuse.

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