Stewart island robin / toutouwai. Photo - DOC

Hedgehog investigations underway

They might seem cute, but hedgehogs can do a lot of damage to taonga species! That’s why Predator Free Rakiura, with support from Manaaki Whenua, are snuffling around for answers about how many of these predators are on Rakiura!

In May 2023, up to 180 cameras will be set up in a 13 square kilometer area surrounding Oban. The pictures will be reviewed and the number of ‘detections’ will help us to begin to understand how many hedgehogs there may be in the area surveyed, as well as whether their population extends to, or perhaps beyond the camera boundaries. Outcomes from the survey will inform next steps for investigations into hedgehogs.

We are fortunate that there are a lot of sightings and reports from residents about hedgehogs being present around Oban. There’s also been some excellent hedgehog trapping work from Stewart Island Rakiura Community Environment Trust, which helps us to understand where hedgehogs are and are likely to be.

This survey will help to check beyond the areas where sightings have been reported to date. We don’t know how far beyond Oban and into the surrounding forest that hedgehogs may be established – the outcomes from this survey will help us design future investigations into hedgehogs on Rakiura.

Predator Free Rakiura is employing local people to deliver the mahi, and we are collaborating with national and local organisations, too – our thanks goes out to landowners who have allowed us access, and to Stewart Island Rakiura Community and Environment Trust, the Department of Conservation, and Manaaki Whenua for loaning us some of the equipment needed to deliver this work.

We hope to be able to report on some of the outcomes of this survey in late June/early July.

You can find more information relating to this work in this handy printable Q&A.

If you still have questions, email us at



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