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The Hedgehog Program is a research and education platform with the main goal to increase knowledge on the needs of African Pygmy Hedgehogs, their medical health and their genetics. The Hedgehog Program wants to achieve this by doing a genetics research first, to see patterns on how colors inherit and then research the possibilities of heath issues being caused by certain pigment mutations or through inbreeding.
Through these two researches, she hopes to get vet clinics, universities and other institues and organisations interested enough to complete a Whole Genome Sequencing. This is a scientific research that gives a list of the full DNA set-up of organisms. From the function of their liver to the color of their eyes. After a WGS, she hopes to be able to work together with universities and other specialists to research which DNA parts belong to organ functions and which ones decide the colors of a hedgehog’s quills, mask and eyes. And with the list of scientifically proven igment mutations, it’s possible to research health issues and possibly even the cause of Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome and other well-known health issues within the species.
Although this will probably be a very long process to achieve, it’s certainly not impossible! With the right mindset and a good research, we might just do it!
The Hedgehog Program registry
We are currently working on an international registry system for breeders to register their hedgehogs and maintain contact with their new owners. It will take a while before we manage to air the registry, but you can read some more about the upcoming registry here.
Hedgery of the High Moors
The hedgery behind The Hedgehog Program is a Dutch breeder that works under the hedgery name of Hedgery of the High Moors. With a great interest in hedgehog genetics, the program started, but sooner than later it turned into an international platform that grew rapidly.