Erinaceus amurensis > Amur hedgehog

Natural habitat

The Amur rule is a species of hedgehog that occurs in East Asia in parts of China, Korea and Russia. The species is somewhat larger and somewhat lighter colored than the closely related European hedgehog from the same family. The species is kept as pets in some parts of its habitat and has no protected status. The species hibernates from late September to April, when temperatures can drop well below freezing. In the summer, the animals in China, South Korea and North Korea have a summer rest when the temperature rises above 30 degrees Celsius. Usually that's just a few days, during which time they become less active and eat less. This moment also forms the interval between the average two litters per year that the hedgehogs often have.

Geography

The habitat of the Amur rule is in East Asia: from Eastern China, North Korea and South Korea to the South-East of Russia. Also in Mongolia the species can sometimes be found in the far east of the country.

Climate

The climate in the habitat of the Amur rule is quite diverse. In the Far East of Russia, where the Primorsky, Khabarovsk, JAO and Amur sub-areas are located, the temperature varies from -24 degrees Celsius in winter to 21 degrees Celsius in summer. In South Korea, the temperature varies between -2 and 29 degrees Celsius. In North Korea, the temperature varies between -9 and 26 degrees Celsius. And in Eastern China, temperatures range between 8 and 33 degrees Celsius, with it getting colder towards the north of China, comparable to temperatures in the Russian Far East.

Daylight hours vary just as much: 1-6 hours in Eastern China, 5-7 in South Korea, 4-7 in North Korea and 2-8 in the Russian Far East. However, rainfall is quite stable throughout the habitat: about 1 mm per day on 4 to 6 days per month in the dry season and 4-8 mm per day on 8-12 days per month in the rainy season.

Flora & Fauna

Its habitat includes for upland, arable and swampy areas, while the Amur rule prefers valleys and lowlands with woodlands and grasslands. The area has many different grasses and shrubs, but especially pine trees and broad-leaved trees that bear fruit.

China is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, so to name a few animals that are special within the habitat of the Amur rule, you might think of the Manchurian black bear and in the far western part of the habitat even the Giant Panda. In the Russian Far East you can think of Siberian tigers and Amur leopards.

Their appearance

The Amur hedgehog is very similar to the European hedgehog, but is lighter in color and heavier. The body length is between 16 and 29 cm and the weight can rise to well over 2.5 kilograms. The Amur rule is grey-brown in color, with a slightly darker mask on the head. The spines are dark brown, with white spines between the colored ones. Lighter specimens can be dark beige with brown in color.