Activity of badgers in Central Poland
Mammalian Biology, Volume 70,Number 1, 1 January 2005, pp. 1-11(11)
Urban & Fischer
A four-year study of badger activity was carried out
in central Poland (54°48'N, 19°53'E) with the aid of radio tracking,
winter tracking, sett inspections and direct observation of the animals.
The daily activity of badgers varied considerably in the course of a
year. In winter, the time spent away from the sett and the daily
distance covered were both the shortest. In spring, the daily distances
increased and the badgers were active on the ground for 3.5–4.5 hours.
In summer and autumn, the animals were active for more than 6 hours. The
longest spell away from the sett was 9 hours, while the farthest
distance moved in a day was 8.1 km. Activity generally peaked once, this
maximum occurring between 22:00 and 02:00 h. No cases of surface
activity between 05:00 and 17:00 were recorded. Winter tracking
indicated that during the first half of this season the animals
restricted their activity to the immediate vicinity of their setts.
Later in the season, the badgers began to undertake longer journeys,
scent-mark their home ranges and inspect the setts in them with greater
frequency. In winter the time spent by badgers in their setts was
closely dependent on the outside temperature. The animals came up to the
surface with varying frequency in the different seasons. In winter the
badgers left their setts on average once in 48 hours, while the longest
period of uninterrupted inactivity recorded during our study was 2
weeks. Badger activity was governed by weather factors, their life cycle
and the availability of food during the year.