News about Badgers in the UK
Home Blog Animals Pictures Help Seeing Badger Groups Education News Search Shop
Badgerland External 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
Finding Badgers?
See our Finding Evidence of Badgers booklet
External News

We have provided links to stories from external news organisations so you can follow the media interest in badgers, and see who writes on the subject. We do not endorse external authors.

Decline in badger sightings is giving cause for concern

2 Feb 2004 - Strathspey and Badenoch

BADGER numbers in Badenoch and Strathspey appear to be in serious decline, according to recently published figures.

Although the number of visitors to the Strathspey Badger Hide by the River Spey near Boat of Garten was up to 812 (129 visits to the hide) over the past year, the number of badger sightings was well down on earlier years.

In the past year, a total of 342 badgers were seen with the maximum on one night being four compared to 2000 when there were 406 sightings of badgers, but just 543 visitors (96 visits) and up to eight badgers were seen on a single night.

Mr Allan Bantick, manager of the hide and a badger expert, has blamed climate change and an associated shortage of food for the fall in badger numbers. Commenting on the end of year figures, he said:

"The badgers have had a tough time of it this year, and although there has been a slight increase in the average number of badgers seen per night at the hide in the past year, our numbers are still well below those of a few years ago. We now believe climate change to be a major factor in this. Hot, dry springs and summers have caused a shortage of worms, which normally form a major part of the badger's diet, both for food and water. This deprivation has resulted in a significant drop in badger breeding success right across the UK.

A high percentage of cubs born in the last two or three years have died of starvation because their parents could not feed them.

"This situation has been made worse by badgers having to forage further afield than normal for food and water and being knocked down by cars on roads that they would not normally need to cross. Some of these road victims are collected for examination, and it is clear from the thin, dehydrated condition of some of these animals that they were starving. In one pathetic case the badger only weighed five kilogrammes, which is less than half of what it should have weighed at that time of year."

However, Mr Bantick said that those who had visited the hide had not been disappointed this year.

"Our guests were entertained brilliantly by the few badgers that we have, " he said. "At various times we have seen the badgers mating, fighting, playing, tunnelling, changing the bedding, marking each other and having a good scratch. Our guests comprised a similar mix to previous years with the usual organisations and businesses making block bookings to include an evening of badger watching in their programmes."

Regular groups to visit the hide included the Heatherlea Birdwatching Centre, Moray Firth Wildlife Centre, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and the RSPB. However, the largest group of users was the general public.

Other species seen from the hide included mice, voles, shrews, foxes, mink, otters, pine martens, roe deer, hares, bats, tawny owls, barn owls, long-eared owls, little owls, buzzards, kestrels, ospreys and goldeneye ducks.

For more information, please click the following link:


Additional Features::
First Edition
Dust Jacket
Any Binding
Hard Cover
Soft Cover