Other animals in the Mustelids family include weasels, stoats, otters, polecats, martens, pine martens and skunks.
How can you not love these? They are just like little bears. They are full of character and fun and make fantastic viewing for those fortunate enough to get a glimpse of them. They are both striking visually and fascinating to watch. They have strong family ties and many setts have been recorded in the same place for over 300 years.
Badgers are very territorial and will protect their home. Badgers are clean animals and clear out their home daily and even have their own toilets called latrines. Badgers live underground in setts. One group usually has a maximum of 13 badgers and they sometimes have winter and summer quarters. During the winter they can spend days at a time underground sleeping. They are a really tight community and protect each other well, a group of badgers is known as a clans or cetes. They will play with each other tumbling and nipping and this helps strengthen their ties. Badges are one of the few creatures to have delayed implantation, this means they can have their young when they choose. Sound pretty good to me.
Badger are rarely seen during the day. The dominant male of the clan or boar will fight to maintain his status and if challenged by a lower ranking male will fight aggressively to hold his position. This fight will often end up with one of the badgers leaving and they will start their own clan. The characteristic ear and bottom bitten males will occasionally take refuge in hedges in the first instance before digging a sett, their powerful bodies and long claws make this digging easy work. Badgers live in woodland areas but often appear in the garden looking for food. They are creatures of habit and will take the same route on nightly outings. Their main diet is earthworms and these can often be found on pastures. They scratch the grass for bugs, grubs and larva that lay just below it's surface and have no respect for a well turned out lawn. They have been known to remove fences to get back into a garden. Such a determined action can only be in pursuit of food. Badger are omnivores and will eat cereal based dog food, meat, peanuts and fruit. Badgers are creatures of habit and if food is left regularly they will come to expect it and can be nuisance if you stop feeding.
As with all our wildlife they are scared of humans and history has taught them to flee but they can be observed from hides and often houses where food is laid to interest the badgers. In 1997 a survey estimated that there are about 50,000 social badger groups. Accounting for approximately 310,000 badgers. It’s estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 badgers die at the hands of diggers each year. Badger baiting was banned in 1835 but still exists today in many areas. It estimates some 30 - 40,000 get killed on the roads each year
Badgers in your Home
Anyone interested in providing homes for orphaned cubs should contact us to discuss further. Badgers can be encouraged into your garden and synthetic setts can be built, these are used in relocation situations. Contact us for more details and advice on badgers.
If you find an injured or abandoned badger please contact a vet or your nearest wildlife rescue immediately. If you have a trapped badger do not approach it in a confined space they can be very aggressive and have very powerful jaws. A small cub can give a very nasty nip so be careful too if you need to take it to a vet or wildlife rescue you will need a safe strong box or call us and we will collect.
Badger Rescue and Rehabilitation
Each year we rescue and rehabilitate badger cubs and successfully release them back into the wild where they belong. We carefully survey and monitor any release sites to ensure that the area can accommodate a badger sett. We must ensure we don't interfere with the natural balance and that the sett is placed a determined distance form existing established setts. We are fortunate to have the support of some large landowners. We establish a location for next years setts this year to ensure all cubs have a home. We have been very successful in our release programs and our on going monitoring.
This information not only helps us to understand badgers but also gives us valuable information to improve our ongoing programs. There is a balance of care and duty to ensure these secretive and protected mammals are not only "human weary" but also have the ability to defend themselves from other badgers and are able to forage well. Our strict program allows for both. Not only is it successful but it is extremely rewarding. If you have a sick injured or abandoned badger cub please contact on the numbers provided on this site.
Badgers are very sociable and need to be kept in groups. When a cubs arrives with us we always try to ensure he has some playmates. Below shows the first cub of the season joining in with a small group of fox cubs. Badgers and foxes get on well and in the wild foxes have been know to have cubs in parts of the badgers sett.
Life Span: Live up to 14 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
Size: They range from 65-80cm, with varying weights between 8-12kg.
Physical description: Our eurasian badgers are easily recognizable by their stunning black and white stripes running from the nose to the shoulders. They are stocky animals with short black legs and silvery grey guard hairs on their backs.
Distribution : Badgers range from Europe to Japan and S. China. In Britain, badgers are most abundant in south west England, Wales and small areas of north east England.
Habitat: They generally prefer forest and grassland
Diet: Badgers feed on earthworms, frogs, rodents, birds, eggs, lizards, insects, bulbs, seeds and berries.
Behaviour: Eurasian badgers are nocturnal and emerge from their setts at dusk. They live in family groups, or clans, of up to 12 individuals, which occupy a shared territory . In most other countries badgers live a solitary existence. The boundaries of the territories are marked out with odour and are defended. Badgers inhabit underground burrows called setts which consist of several chambers, passages and entrances and are used by successive generations of badgers. Nesting material is often carried out of the sett in the day and aired in the sunshine. They are gregarious and will indulge in playful romping, which helps to strengthen their social bonds.
Reproduction: Badgers exhibit a breeding phenomena known as delayed implantation, which means that they can breed at any time of the year. The purpose is to ensure that young are produced at a time when temperature and food conditions are at their optimum. After mating, they keep the fertilized eggs in the uterus in a state of suspended development until they are implanted in the uterine wall, usually after 10 months. After a further gestation period of 7-8 weeks, they give birth to a litter of 1-6 cubs.
Conservation status : Badgers are not considered endangered but numbers have been depleted. They are protected under various wildlife acts and UK law states that it is an offense to kill, injure or capture a badger, or to interfere with its sett. It is estimated that 50,000 badgers meet their deaths in Britain through road traffic accidents every year. Badgers are hunted legally and illegally in many of the countries they inhabit.
Protection of the Badger Act 1992 : The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it an offense to kill or injure a badger (except under license); cruelly ill-treat a badger; use certain prohibited firearms; dig for a badger; damage or destroy a badger sett or obstruct access to it, or disturb a badger in it; cause a dog to enter a badger sett; and tag or mark any badger(except under license).
These are one of the largest of our native wildlife and like the rest need help to ensure their survival. They are full of character and loads of fun and mischief and this makes them fantastic viewing
We love badgers.
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