You might have noticed in the genetic statistics tab, we recently added a line about species purity. in this article we will be elaborating on the reason behind this line.
Between the years 2010 and 2015, a few breeders in Germany have been able to import Somali hedgehogs. This is a species living in Somalia and Ethiopia, overlapping the natural habitat of African Pygmy Hedgehogs. The breeders have tried to breed them with African Pygmy Hedgehogs and this was somewhat successful. A lot of this hybrid offspring had very little success in growing up and procreating, meaning a lot of them had a shortened lifespan as is common in a lot of hybrid species. As far as our knowledge on the subject goes, the breeders involved stopped breeding them in 2015 or 2016 due to the health issues that arised.
Fortunately, the amount of Somali hedgehogs bred into African Pygmy Hedgehog lineages seems to be very limited. Though we are still trying to figure out the true amount of Somali hedgehogs involved, we so far have two Somali hedgehogs within the registry system.
The Somali hedgehog with this pedigreename seems to have the biggest amount of descendants to far with a total of 131 hybrid hedgehogs to date. This spans over several generations varying from direct offspring to animals with a less then 1% relationship.
This Somali hedgehog doesn’t seem to have that much influence into the population of African Pygmy Hedgehogs. We only have 7 hybrid hedgehogs in our system related to this animal with the lowest relationship percentage being 6,25% Somali hybrid.
At this moment, it’s unknown to what extent the hybridization is causing negative effects still, but we do advice breeders with any Somali hedgehogs to be extra observant towards any health issues. If you notice any health issues that might be related to this hybridization, we highly appreciate it if you want to notify us.
If you want to know if any of your animals in our system are hybrids, please contact us!