Translocation of a Social Group of Badgers
Volume 5 ,
Issue 3 , August 1996 , pp. 289 - 309
A social group of six badgers (Meles meles) (four
adults and two cubs) was translocated from urban Bexhill, East Sussex, in
August 1993 to a 1216m2 electrified enclosure in a part of Suffolk largely
unoccupied by badgers. Three adult badgers (SY2, SY5 and SY6) escaped from
the release site prior to the removal of the perimeter fence on 10
December and established a sett near a village, 2.9km from the release
site. In January 1994, the remaining adult (SY4) left the release site and
moved 1.8km to the grounds of a youth detention centre. The cubs did not
desert the site as readily as the adults. Home-range sizes for two adult
females, SY4 and SY6, remained relatively constant, while that of adult
male SY2 increased from 50ha in February to nearly 400ha in April. The
range of SY2 overlapped parts of the ranges of the two females, although
SY4 and SY6's ranges never overlapped. The percentage volume of scavenged
food in the diet increased monthly between February and April which
corresponded to increased garden activity over this period. Earthworms
were the most important item in the diet. The establishment of both main
setts near housing and the preference for foraging in gardens suggests
that badgers released into novel environments may search for familiar
habitats. It is concluded that translocation can successfully establish
badgers at new locations. However, translocation as a solution to problems
caused by badgers must only be viewed as a last resort, not least due to
the potential for disease spread
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