Badger cub climbing log

Badger cub climbing log - British Mammals
Badgers are mustelids so are in fact giant weasels. They are largely nocturnal although they can be seen in daylight in more isolated areas. In winter, badgers do not hibernate, but in cold weather they may spend several days or even longer underground, living on their fat reserves. They become more active in the latter part of the winter when the females give birth and then come into season. The main mating season gets underway then, and with male badgers in particular wandering far and wide looking for mates, there are a lot of road casualties. During the autumn, badgers spend a great deal of time feeding, to build up their fat reserves ready for the coming winter.

Adult males measure around 90 cm in length (including a tail of around 15 cm), and weigh anything from 9 kg to 17 kg (mean average about 11.5 kg). Females are usualy slightly shorter, and lighter: from 6.5 kg to 14 kg (mean average about 10 kg). The weights of both sexes vary over the year, being at their greatest at the beginning of winter, and at their lowest at the end of that season.

Badgers live in a system of interconnected tunnels and chambers called a sett. These range in size from simple affairs consisting of just one or a small number of tunnels and chambers, to massive structures with dozens of entrance holes, hundreds of metres of tunnels, and many chambers. Larger setts will have been excavated by generations of badgers, over a period of decades or even centuries in some cases.

The principal food of the badger, in most of western Europe, is the earthworm. Large numbers are eaten on damp nights when the worms come to the surface, and they are very nutritious. Badgers also eat insects and their larvae, small mammals, carrion, fruits, nuts, cereals, roots, bulbs and tubers.

To find some of the best places in the UK to see badgers use the search facility on this website.
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