Wildlife of Algeria: Algerian hedgehogs
11.06.2024 Algeria Bejaia   15
Wildlife of Algeria: Algerian hedgehogs

The North African hedgehog (Atelerix algirus), 20 to 25 cm long, is found in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Malta, France and Spain. Since this cute little hedgehog is native to North Africa, it is generally accepted that it was introduced to France, Spain, the Balearic Islands and Malta by humans. The North African hedgehog, also known as the Algerian hedgehog, is one of four species of the genus Atelerix, the others being four-toed hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris); South African hedgehog (Atelerix frontalis); and the Somali hedgehog (Atelerix sclateri).

Although smaller than its European counterparts, the Algerian hedgehog is the largest African hedgehog species. It has a longer snout and legs than other species, its face is almost white, and its legs and head are brown. Its underbelly is white or brown, and the soft quills covering its body are mostly white with darker stripes. Its ears are quite large, rounded, with pointed tips, and there are no quills on the top of its head, so it lacks the characteristic “widow's peak” - a V-shaped arrangement of quills in the middle of the forehead - that is seen in most hedgehogs.

The breeding season lasts from October to March, the female gives birth to 3 to 10 babies after a 30-40 day gestation period. The male and female mate for only one season, during which time two litters may be born.

Algerian hedgehogs live mainly in forests or parks, since they are not adapted to life in a desert climate. Guraia National Park, located in the Algerian province of Bejaia, is one of the country's reserves where a population of Algerian hedgehogs lives. Be sure to keep an eye out for them as you explore this picturesque region of Algeria.

Source: algeria.com

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