Three MPs have signed an Early Day Motion backing a campaign to halt the rapid decline in hedgehog numbers in the UK.
The campaign, Save Harry the Hedgehog campaign, is being led by the Wildlife Aid Foundation and the former Maidstone and The Weald MP Ann Widdecombe.
It wants new legislation specifically for the protection of hedgehogs.
The EDM tabled by Andrew Rosindell and backed by Eleanor Laing and Jim Shannon, states that the UK hedgehog population which “is estimated to have dropped from approximately 36 million in the 1950s to under one million today".
It says the the dramatic decline of the species is “in large part due to habitat loss and the proliferation of roads".
The RSPCA said there is “strong anecdotal evidence over recent years that hedgehogs are in decline for various reasons”, but the science has yet to be proven conclusively.
"This worrying trend is reflected in the huge numbers of hedgehogs the RSPCA sees in a desperate and poorly state – and makes it vital to help as many of these animals survive as possible.
"Every year, there are more cases of this animal than most other species brought into our four wildlife rehabilitation centres.
"In 2010, there were 1697 hedgehog admissions overall – the second highest species after ducks. In 2009 there were 1671, more animals than any other species that year.
"We would encourage people to look after the hedgehogs in their garden by ensuring that possible hazards are made safe, such as garden ponds, and that people use alternatives to slug pellets. Take care when using strimmers and when clearing overgrown areas which hedgehogs will use for nesting."
The Wildlife Aid Foundation said the Government’s current ‘priority’ classification for hedgehogs is helpful but limited in effect – the small mammal is one of more than a thousand species covered by biodiversity initiatives.
It wants a Hedgehog Protection Act to make wilful killing of hedgehogs illegal, alongside a mandatory code of practice.