There is much evidence that hedgehogs utilise urban areas to avoid badger predation in the UK. This paper shows that in the Netherlands, where the badger population is lower than in the UK, the same pattern is occurring. The situation is more complicated than badgers eating all the hedgehogs; badgers and hedgehogs both prey on earthworms and therefore are completing for similar resources. There is a lack of earthworms on intensively managed farmland which exacerbates the situation.
In several west European countries, the distribution of hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus is declining. In the UK, predation by the European badger Meles meles is considered to be the main death cause of hedgehogs. In the Netherlands, badger density is rising, which suggests the same cause for the decline. We used the presence of badgers and hedgehogs recorded in the period 2007–2010 in grid cells of 1 km2, together with environmental variables, i.e. land-use types and soil types, to describe the habitat of both species. Although the distribution of badgers in the Netherlands is still limited, we found indeed a negative effect of badger presence on hedgehog presence. We also found a positive effect of urban area, recreational land use and roads on hedgehog presence, whereas these types had a negative effect on badger presence.