Temperature and humidity in badger setts
Mammal Review, Volume
33, Numbers 3-4, September 2003, pp. 308-313(6) -
Temperature and relative humidity were measured within 12
badger Meles meles setts over periods ranging from 24 hours to 1 year.
Relative humidity was 100% within all setts at all times of
year. Mean daily, monthly and annual within-sett temperature ranges were 0.37°C,
1.5°C and 10.7°C, respectively, and were significantly less than the
corresponding ambient temperature ranges of 8.9°C, 19.0°C and 24.1°C.
There was no evidence that the temperature regime of main setts
differed from that of outlier setts. Within a single large main sett,
temperatures taken simultaneously at different sampling points differed by up to
2.5°C. The temperature of nest chambers that were occupied by a badger was, on
average, 2.4°C higher than in unoccupied chambers.
We conclude that: (i) variation in within-sett temperature and
humidity is not sufficient to explain the complex way in which badgers use the
setts available to them; and (ii) the environmental conditions within badger
setts are such as would be expected to favour the survival of bovine
tuberculosis Mycobacterium bovis bacilli.
bovine tuberculosis; burrow; environment; mammal;
microclimate; Mycobacterium bovis