25 September 2015

Desert Hedgehog near Zulfi – Record by Mansur Al Fahad

Mansur recently sent me an e-mail saying he had found an Ethiopian Hedgehog around his house in Al Thweer village in Zulfi area. Mansur is extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife of the region and is a person I ask regularly to help me out on reptiles I have seen that I have no idea about the identity. Mansur said that the hedgehogs are common around farms and houses on the edge of town as well as in some oasis. The original arabic name was Qonfod with the local name in Zulfi as well as maybe some other areas of central Saudi Arabia is Doalaj. The more common English name for the Ethiopian Hedgehog is the Desert Hedgehog and they are mainly active at night. They are a solitary species that forage on the ground for a range of insect and other invertebrate prey, as well as occasional small vertebrates. The species is widely distributed across northern Africa, from Morocco and Mauritania in the west, to Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia in the east. It also occurs in the Middle East and across most of the Arabian Peninsula including Saudi Arabia.