Biodiversity conservation attracts much attention all over the world, highlighted in 2010, the United Nation's International Year of Biodiversity. Effective biodiversity conservation needs basic biological and environmental information, including the behavior and ecology of organisms. The Ethiopian hedgehog (), which is well adapted to the desert environment, is a common species in Qatar and yet little is known concerning their behavior and ecology. We are conducting the first ever research in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on the ecology and behavior of the Ethiopian hedgehog using radio-tracking, supported by the Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP) awarded by the Qatar National Research Fund. The project is still ongoing and we have captured 48 different hedgehogs between April and June 2010, and put radio-tags on 13 (six females and seven males) animals so far. We followed them to collect data for investigating their spatial patterns and habitat preferences during the breeding season (spring and summer) where we found that males’ ranges are larger than those of females. We are currently conducting our fieldwork to investigate these ranges during the non-breeding season (autumn and winter). One of our hypotheses is that males’ ranges during the non-breeding season would be smaller than those during the breeding season whilst there would be no clear difference in females range. We expect that we would be able to collect enough data by December to present the results at the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum.


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  1. N. Yamaguchi, First-ever research on the basic ecology of the Ethiopian hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus) in Qatar, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, EEP4.
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