It concluded that too many badgers = no hedgehogs.
And now another paper, from another University has concluded exactly the same. And for any badgers who read the Daily Mail there is even a recipe for the dispatching of hedgehogs. Badgers, the paper says:
" ..... have learned to use their long claws to prize them [hedgehogs] open - even when they are curled up tight. Once the badger has the hedgehog pinned down tight, it swipes its victim with 1.5 inch claws, pulls it open and bites it to kill it before pulling the flesh from the prickles. The prickles and skin are discarded.."
The paper points out that "badgers have an exceptionally strong bite for their size and will bite each other on the rump during serious disagreements." The report may also have been a tad optimistic about that "bite to kill" statement, quoted above and implying a human death. We have heard that a hedgehog pinned down by his paws, will be peeled like an orange while still very much alive. His screams are not pleasant, and are prolonged.
The ecological effect of an uncontrolled badger population was first brought to our attention by Dr. Willie Stanton who tracked an increase in badgers on his patch for several years, and noted a corresponding decrease in virtually every other small mammal, reptile, insect or ground nesting bird. This latest paper merely reinforces previous work.
The findings come in a study which shows a close geographical link between the decline of hedgehogs and the presence of badgers.
Researcher Dr Anouschka Hof, of Royal Holloway University of London, estimates there are about a million hedgehogs in Britain.
'However, they have been declining over the last decade, especially in areas where there are a lot of badgers,' she said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1215178/Hedgehog-lunch-Booming-badgers-developed-taste-spiky-little-rivals.html#ixzz0RpZ35VQa