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BADGER (meles meles)

Size of adult: Heaviest in autumn, lightest in spring. Male 11.6 kg (25.5 lb). Female 10.1 kg (23.3 lb). Average length of male 90 cm (3ft) including tail. Female slightly smaller.

Colour: Grey, rarely pale reddish, albino, or blackish.

Breeding season: Young usualy born mid-January to mid-March

Gestation Period: 7-8 weeks of true gestation preceded by a variable period of delayed implantation (2-10 months)

Number of Young: 1-5, average about 3. During first 8 weeks may reduce to 2.

Lifespan: Average 2-3 years, max. about 15 in wild.

Food: diet very variable, but eartyhworms by far the most important. Also insects (esp. beetles), small mammals, carrion, cereals, fruit.

Predators: Adults seldom killed by predators, cubs occasionally killed by dogs and foxes. Many killed by gamekeepers and farmers, and increasingly by cars.

Distribution: Widespread. More in wild, wet areas of south and west, fewer in flat, heavily farmed areas, and above 500m (1640ft).


Badger Persecution

Despite all the badger protection legislation, this poor animal is still being persecuted.
Estimates put the number of setts (where badgers live) being dug out as at least 9,000 and car drivers know just how many more are run over.

According to a report in the Journal of Zoology , it was found that badgers do best if they live in public places close to roads and public footpaths.

Judging by the many readers who contact us, it seems that to live in a quiet, out of the way area is not too healthy, as this is just where the badger hunters make for.