A Very Varied Diet
Badgers are omnivores and feed primarily on earthworms, caterpillars and moths. However, they also occasionally eat small mammals such as hedgehogs, young rabbits, voles, rats and mice! They can also be opportunistic in their feeding habits and won’t pass on the chance to eat frogs, fish, fungi, roots and bulbs that they find along the way.
Distribution and Protection
Badgers are common and widespread throughout Britain. Badgers are often subject to unlawful culling, as cows and badgers can pass bovine tuberculosis to each other.
However, some evidence is showing that culling is an ineffective method of control; that considering stronger biosecurity practices and the vaccination of cattle and badgers is the most effective prevention of this disease1. To combat this, The Badger Trust has set up a vaccination program for this very reason. If you want to find out more, and help by donating to this charity please see here2
Badgers have very long claws, which make them brilliant diggers. – The name “badger” comes from the French word “becheur” which means “digger”. Staying true to their name, badgers create distinct underground systems of various tunnels and chambers called setts (shown in the diagram below4); which can extend from 20 to over 100 meters, with some of the larger setts having over 50 entrances! Having such good digging skills, allows badgers to greatly affect the topography of the area, which can help maintain and regenerate soil health.