Through our health research, we study the general health of African pygmy hedgehogs and try to see if there are any health problems related to the existing colors and patterns. In this way we can help breeders connect the dots and advise them to avoid certain colors and patterns in their breeding program. Over time, even if it is a low coverage study, this type of study can help improve the species as a whole.
African pygmy hedgehogs have been bred since the 1990s and have grown in popularity ever since. Due to high demand, breeders often have regular litters and inbreeding is quite common to produce enough hedgehogs. This inbreeding has led to increasing health problems in recent years and the general health of the species has started downhill. The species is very sensitive and already requires specific care without this health deteriorating. So it is very important to take action now and study general health and link health problems to specific color mutations to avoid them during breeding. Doing this would not breed the color mutation as often and would increase general health again.
What information do we collect
For this survey we regularly collect information such as skin color, gender, age and country of residence. With this information we can track various health problems and see where the hedgehogs with these problems mainly live. We can see which problems are a local problem and which are a global problem. Global problems have an increasing risk of being associated with color mutations and therefore need further investigation. By collecting gender and color, we can then investigate which colors have more problems and whether those problems are more common in female or male animals.
How can you help us
If your hedgehog has a health problem, you can submit information through our survey. This survey distinguishes breeders from pet owners and rescues and applies to all hedgehog and tenrec species. After we have enough data from the survey, we'll focus on some in-depth topics to research and set up new pages to collect data for those surveys.