Peace has yet to be attained between robotics, lawn care specialists, and hedgehogs. This study wades into the vexatious arena:
“Wildlife Conservation at a Garden Level: The Effect of Robotic Lawn Mowers on European Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus),” Sophie Lund Rasmussen, Ane Elise Schrøder, Ronja Mathiesen, Jeppe Lund Nielsen, Cino Pertoldi, and David W. Macdonald, Animals, vol. 11, no. 119, 2021. (Thanks to Jesper Milan for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Oxford, UK, and three institutions in Denmark— Aalborg University, University of Copenhagen, Fossil and Moclay Museum, Nykøbing Mors, and Agilent Technologies Denmark—report:
this study aimed to describe and quantify the effects of robotic lawn mowers on hedgehogs, and we tested 18 robotic lawn mowers in collision with dead hedgehogs. Some models caused extensive damage to the dead hedgehogs, but there were noteworthy differences in the degree of harm inﬂicted, with some consistently causing no damage. None of the robotic lawn mowers tested was able to detect the presence of dead, dependent juvenile hedgehogs, and no models could detect the hedgehog cadavers without physical interaction.