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Badger looking ahead - Image by Hans Veth

About badgers

Badgers have a very distinctive black and white face and their body is normally silvery-grey with paler fur underneath. The badger is a member of the Mustelid family so is related to stoats, weasels and otters. It is just as common as the red fox, but more nocturnal and elusive in its habits.


Badger setts

Setts vary from a single-entrance to large multiple entrance complexes with large piles of spoil and worn paths. Badgers will collect bedding such as grass or leaves which they drag backwards to the sett often leaving bedding trails. An occupied sett can be recognised by the tidy burrow entrances, marked with piles of used bedding (hay and leaves), and by nearby latrine pits where the occupants leave their droppings.


Badgers feed on earthworms, fruit, small mammals, roots and bulbs. They use their strong front paws to dig for food.


Mating takes place between February and May, with implantation delayed until late winter. Only one female badger in a social group normally breeds, although sometimes two or more may do so. Litters of 2-3 cubs are born around February blind and hairless in the safety of the nest. They usually appear above ground at about 8 weeks, and weaning usually takes about 12 weeks. By late summer they are usually feeding independently but can be adversely affected by drought at this time, causing starvation.

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