Issue 98 is out now
Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

05th October 2012

The familiar striped face of the Eurasian badger makes it one of our best loved and most iconic wild animals. Badgers are notoriously shy and are rarely seen in the wild; sadly, sometimes the first time we see a badger is at the roadside after they have been hit by a car. But badgers face their biggest challenge yet with the proposed UK badger cull, with the aim of curbing tuberculosis in cattle. Independent scientific studies have shown that badger culling would be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

05th October 2012

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

05th October 2012

If you do one thing for badgers this National Badger Day on 6th Oct, sign the petition to urge the government to stop the cull, and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle.

SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT BADGERS:

KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY
Badgers are closely related to otters, stoats, weasels, polecats and pine martens.

NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME
They are largely nocturnal, normally shy, retiring animals that live in social or family groups.

GIRLS AND BOYS
Male badgers are called boars, female badgers are called sows and baby badgers are called cubs.

THE FAMILY TARTAN
A family group of badgers is called a clan.

HOME SWEET HOME
A badger’s home is called a sett. The sett is an underground home, often with a labyrinth of tunnels involving the excavation of tons of earth.

A WRIGGLING FEAST
Badgers are omnivorous. Their most common food is the earthworm (up to 200 worms per night). They will also eat insect pests, bulbs, roots, tubers, soft fruit and vegetables, funghi, wasps, mice, baby rats and rabbits, frogs, moles, hedgehogs and carrion.

• *MOVE OVER USAIN BOLT *
Badgers can run up to 25 to 30km an hour over short distances.

TOP TO TOE
An adult can grow up to 36 inches long.

TIPPING THE SCALES
The average weight for badgers in the UK is between 7.5 and 9.5 kg for females and 8.5 and 10.5 kg for males. They are heaviest in the late autumn and lightest in the late spring.

MAKING THEIR MARK
Badger prints are broader than they are long with five toes and five long, non-retractable powerful claws that they use for digging.

SNIFF IT OUT
The sense of smell is the most important of the badgers’ senses. Badgers forage for food with their snouts constantly sniffing the ground ahead of them.

WINTER SLEEP
Badgers don’t hibernate but are definitely less active during the winter months.

BRINGING UP BABY
Badger cubs are normally born in February, the number of cubs usually being between one and three. Cubs emerge about May after spending the first 8-10 weeks underground.

BACK GARDEN BADGERS
To encourage badgers into your garden, leave areas of brambles as they are very fond of blackberries. Earthworms are their main food so keep grass cropped short enough for them to be able to forage for them.

(Facts from Beautiful Britain website, The Badger Trust and Badgerland)

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