North African hedgehog

This hedgehog species is remarkably bigger than the rest of the species within this family and naturally occurs in Morocco and Algeria. The species is also kept as a pet, but is still very rare in captivity.

Natural habitat

The North African hedgehog occurs naturally in North Africa in areas up to 900 meters above sea level. They mainly live in grassland, scrub and desert areas. The North African hedgehog has a relatively small habitat, but occurs in fairly large numbers. The lowest measured temperature in the habitat of this hedgehog species is about 5 degrees Celsius in winter and the highest measured temperature in summer is about 36 degrees Celsius. As a result, North African hedgehogs have both a summer rest and a winter hibernation.

In the dry season, July is the driest month with less than 0.5 mm of rain per day. In the wettest months, up to 3mm of rain can fall per day.


The North African hedgehog is found in North Africa and southern Europe. The species has been introduced into European areas, presumably as a result of shipping traffic.

The North African hedgehog is found in the countries of Algeria, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia. The species was previously also found in France, where the species is now extinct. The species also occurs on islands such as the Canary Islands, Djerba, Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. It is also suspected that the species was introduced by humans on these islands.


The North African hedgehog lives in the Mideteran climate in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. The climate has mild, wet winters and dry, hot summers. The coldest temperatures within the habitat of this hedgehog species are around 7 degrees Celsius in the cold winters. The hottest temperatures can reach up to 36 degrees Celsius in summer. On average, North African hedgehogs have about 6 hours of sunlight per day in winter to 12 hours of sunlight per day in summer.

During the dry season in summer, less than 0.5 mm of rain falls per day for about 1 day per month. In the rainy season in winter there is an average of 2mm of rain per day on about 7 days per month.

Flora & fauna

The North African habitat of the North African hedgehog is quite diverse, despite the intense dryness in the area. The hedgehog species shares its habitat with the endangered Barbary macaque, the Atlas deer, leopards, red foxes, Berber sheep and many more animals.

Special among the plants are the various breadfruit trees, acacia trees and pine trees. Many types of grasses and shrubs are also found in the area, usually species that can store a lot of water to withstand the dry summers.


The North African hedgehog is quite larger than the rest of the species within the same family. The species can weigh up to 2 kilograms and grow to about 35-40 cm in length. Seen from above, the North African hedgehog has a teardrop shape and seen from the front, the head is heart-shaped. The ears are behind the eyes, but set slightly more towards the top. The species has five toes on the hind legs and five toes on the front legs.


A North African hedgehog in captivity needs a decent home with enrichment and accessories to stay happy. A good home with the right supplies and toys prevents boredom and stress that can eventually lead to neurotypical behavior. Good preparation is therefore half the battle and that is very important. There are different types of accommodation that you can use, there are conditions for the right ground cover, there are different types of running wheels and the choice of toys is of course very large. The pages below explain everything to you.

Learn more about housing

  • Types of enclosures
  • Substrates and nesting material
  • Running wheels and free roaming
  • Food and water
  • Toys
  • Making a sandbox
  • How do i create a bio-active enclosure?


Of course you also have to take good care of a North African hedgehog in captivity. They are not the most difficult animals, but they are quite sensitive and it is very important to read carefully about their care! For example, good care prevents fungal infections, dry skin and in many cases you can also prevent many infections with parasites with good care.

Learn more about their care

  • The weekly cleaning
  • How do you disinfect an enclosure?
  • Bathing: wise or not
  • Tutorial: how to cut nails
  • The daily health check
  • Skin and fur care


Nutrition is perhaps the most important topic to read carefully about. Good nutrition takes care of the skin, keeps organs healthy and improves the general health of a hedgehog. A good variety helps, by not only feeding kibble and mealworms, but also looking at other supplements and snacks. For example, learn how to make a fresh meat menu or how to bake animal-friendly snacks.

Learn more about nutrition

  • The natural diet
  • A good kibble
  • What is a BARF diet?
  • Suitable insects and meat
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Recipe: banana pancake
  • Recipe: insect bites


How a North African hedgehog behaves tells a lot about how he feels and his health. They make a lot of noises, even if you wouldn't think so. But you can also distinguish behavior into positive behaviour, neutral behaviour, negative behavior and disturbed behaviour. Do you know the difference?

Learn more about behaviour

  • Sounds: what do they mean?
  • Different types of behavior
  • Self-Mutilation: How behavior becomes physically harmful
  • Anointing
  • Every hedgehog is different
  • Neurotic behavior
  • Fear and aggression: a step-by-step plan


In the untimely event that something goes wrong, you naturally want to be able to intervene quickly. That is why reading about health problems in North African hedgehogs is also very important. Unfortunately, due to their sensitivity, they also get sick regularly and without sufficient prior knowledge it is difficult to know what is going on. That is why we have already written a number of topics for you with the most common health problems. Are you concerned about your hedgehog's health? Always consult a veterinarian.

Learn more about health

  • Find a vet
  • Fatty liver
  • Cancer
  • Fatty eye
  • Parasites
  • Fungal infections
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Hibernation attempt
  • Aestivation
  • Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome


If you already have some experience with North African hedgehogs, the idea of ​​wanting to breed may come to mind. For this, good reading and especially gaining a lot of experience is very important. In particular, ask your mentor how he or she views subjects, because different standards are used in different countries. For example, one breeder will cover his ladies immediately when they are 6 months old and the other leiver will wait until they are a little older. We will in any case explain the basics for you.

Learn more about reproduction

  • Basic knowledge of reproduction
  • Starting a hedgery
  • Common problems
  • A kickstart course breeding
  • Legislation


Of course it is also very nice to know what color your hedgehog is. For breeders there is more in-depth information about this in the breeding starter course, but for the pet owners we have made a handy color guide.

Learn more about colors

  • Colors of the North African hedgehog
  • Patterns of the North African hedgehog
  • EMS codes