Badger Meles meles

The Badger is our biggest land predator, a member of the Mustelid family and related to Stoats, Weasels and Otters. The Badger is just as common as the Red Fox, but more nocturnal and elusive in its habits. Badgers live in large family groups in a burrow system known as a ‘sett’. 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 they leave their droppings. They feed on small mammals, ground-nesting birds eggs, earthworms, fruit and roots and bulbs, which they dig up with their strong front paws. Cubs are born in January or February, but spend the first two or three months underground, only emerging in the spring.

Behaviour

An unmistakable animal; large and grey, with a short fluffy tail, black belly and paws and the familiar black and white-striped face.

Size

Length: up to 1.2m including tail

Weight: 7-17kg

Average lifespan: 3 years but can live up to 14 years in the wild

Status

Fully protected in the UK by the Protection of Badgers Act, 1992, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

Distribution

Found throughout England, Wales, most of Scotland except for the far north, and Northern Ireland. Absent from Scottish Islands, the Isle of Man, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.

When to see

Jan – Dec

Facts

Badgers can eat several hundred earthworms a night! They’re also one of the only predators of hedgehogs – their thick skin and long claws help them to get past the spiny outside. If food is in short supply, badgers will forage during the day as well as at night. If there are badgers nearby, you can tempt them into your garden by leaving peanuts out – a tasty snack for our striped friends. The best time to spot Badgers is during spring, when the young cubs venture out of the den before nightfall.

Common name

Badger

Species name

Meles meles

When to see in Scotland

Jan – Dec

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to keep up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust 

Follow by Email
Google+
https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/species/badger
Instagram
Back to top