In our field research we study their natural animal behavior and eating pattern in different hedgehog species. We do this, among other things, by using ethograms and stool testing. Our first project focuses on the African Pygmy Hedgehog, but as a result of preparation, a few smaller projects will be made on the European hedgehog in between.
Research on African Pygmy Hedgehogs
In Uganda we are looking for African Pygmy Hedgehogs that occur in the wild there. We will be conducting various studies to map their natural behavior and diet. Each of these studies is partly related, because we also want to study the hunting behavior of the African Pygmy Hedgehog and thus note which animals they have eaten during our observation. We will also conduct faeces tests on a number of these wild animals.
Ethology is what zoologists use to investigate an animal's behavior. An ethogram is used to describe the different types of behavior (biting, eating, sleeping, walking, etc.) and a protocol to study the animals over a specific time frame and record their behavior. Doing this with multiple animals will give you a complete picture of their activities.
To study the natural diet, we will keep track of which animals are eaten and feces are collected during the study. Preferably as fresh as possible, so that we have a good idea of what they are consuming. Because Uganda has a lot of greenery, it is an excellent area to determine whether they mainly eat animal or vegetable matter and determine whether they are insectivores or omnivores.
The ultimate goal is to travel to Uganda and conduct research there into animal behavior and eating patterns of the African Pygmy Hedgehog. Why Uganda and no other country in the habitat of the African Pygmy Hedgehog? We'll soon explain more about this project as we develope our plans over time.