Beware Badgers Crossing
01 Feb 2004 - Scotland online Outdoors/ScotlandOnLine.Com
Drivers on the A96 route between Inverness and Nairn are being asked to
lookout for badgers crossing the road after reports that 24 badgers were killed
on the stretch last year.
Scottish Natural Heritage are hoping drivers will "think badger"
after receiving reports from concerned members of the public about badgers being
run over and killed, including details of how many and where the badger deaths
The report showed four badgers were killed in both February and August, three
were killed in July, September and December while only in November were there no
deaths. It also identified danger areas with nine killed near Petty Church,
seven near Morayhill (Norbord) and three at the Ardersier junction.
SNH area officer, Anne Youngman, said, "Badgers are creatures of habit
and will use the same routes they have used for many years, even at the risk of
crossing busy roads. The high numbers of deaths near Petty Church and Morayhill
suggests that there are badger paths crossing the A96 in these two locations.
"Motorists should be aware that badgers may be encountered anywhere
along the A96 but between Inverness and Nairn these two places deserve extra
"We are very grateful to those who take the time to report dead badgers
to us and ask that they continue to do so. Thanks to one of the reports we have
now been able to identify the worst locations and the worst months for badger
road deaths, so we can be more specific when asking people to take care.
"We will also look closer at what goes on around the worst affected
areas and whether there is anything that can be done to help the problem.
Meanwhile, as we are now approaching February, reported to be one of the worst
months, we ask anyone using this and other roads in the north to take extra care
and think badger."
Although not particularly rare, badgers are protected under the Wildlife and
Countryside Act and the 1982 Badgers Act, because of badger-bating. They are
more common in the south of England, but are also frequently spotted in the
Highlands, particularly to the east of Inverness.
They like banks for digging and burrowing, and pastures with short mown grass
for earth worms. They are nocturnal creatures, usually only seen at night or
around dawn and dusk. Unfortunately most sightings are usually of dead animals
by the roadside.
Anyone reporting badger road deaths should include their name and contact
number, a description (e.g. one small and one large badger), the date and
approximate time of day of the sighting, and either a grid reference or clear
description of the location. Reports should be sent to Anne Youngman, SNH,
Fodderty Way, Dingwall Business Park, Dingwall IV15 9XB.
In addition to badgers, other wildlife killed on the A96 and reported to SNH
include fox, deer, pheasant, polecat, buzzard, hare and barnowl.
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