Animal of the Month
Ten Things You Need to Know About ... Badgers
- Badgers are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are awake at night.
- Badgers live in groups of up to 14 adults and dig systems of underground tunnels and nesting chambers called "setts", where they sleep and rear their young. These setts can have several entrances, and grass, bracken and leaves are used to line their beds.
- Some setts have been used for more than 100 years by many generations of badgers!
- Badgers are strong and heavy for their size and have sharp clawed feet, making them the fastest-digging animal on Earth. In the United States, a badger was observed digging through an asphalt surface. It took the badger less than two minutes to get underground!
- The biggest threats to badgers are cars – more than 50,000 badgers are killed by cars every year.
- Badgers have excellent hearing and a strong sense of smell, which helps them find food, but their eyes are small and their eyesight is not very good.
- Badgers and their setts are fully protected by the Badger's Act 1992, meaning badgers must not be killed, trapped or taken from their setts.
- Badgers live throughout Great Britain, with the highest number in South Western counties of England and Wales.
- Badger baiters who interfere with setts and kill badgers have reduced badger populations in some areas. Badger baiting is illegal, so if you see someone doing this you should contact the police and the RSPCA straight away.
- Near each sett is a scratching tree that the badgers use to keep their claws sharp.