In the Netherlands, the badger is mainly found in the east of the Netherlands. He also lives in the south and the center of the Netherlands. The Veluwe, the east of North Brabant and South Limburg have the most badgers. Furthermore, the badger is found in almost all of Europe and the animal also lives in parts of Asia.
A badger can grow up to 80 centimeters and is one of the largest land predators in the Netherlands.
The badger population in the Netherlands is growing steadily after more difficult times. In 1960 there were only about twelve hundred badgers left, because they were hunted a lot. After stricter legislation for the protection of the badger, that number grew to about six thousand badgers now.
Friso Derikx, chairman of Stichting Dassenwerkgroep Brabant, sees that badgers are becoming more common in the Netherlands. “And so they can cause nuisance on a larger scale.”
Badgers are big diggers and build burrows of sometimes tens of meters lang. The badgers prefer to make their tunnel systems in quiet areas, says Jaap Dirkmaat, chairman of the Das&Boom Foundation. In dikes or in the slopes near the railway, for example.
“The corridors of a castle can also collapse in the long run,” says Dirkmaat. “If several tunnels collapse, the train tracks above the castle may sink.”
Just like the badger itself, the badger sett is legally protectedso they should not simply be removed. Castles can be hundreds of years old. Generations of badgers can live in the same castle, which is expanded a bit each time.
Underground are several rooms that are covered with leaves. There is no toileting in the castle. The badgers do that outside. This is how they mark their territory. A badger sett has several entrances that can be meters apart.
Some burrows are inhabited by only two badgers, others by as many as twenty. Especially in winter, the animals spend a lot of time in their burrows, although they do not hibernate.
Although a badger is officially a predator, it is not known for being hunting instinct. Badgers noisily slide their noses over the ground, which gives many animals the chance to flee. Only the slow-moving food remains, such as earthworms. Worms themselves come to the surface of the earth at night.
When it is drier and the earthworms remain deeper in the soil, badgers look for other food. In the spring and autumn, larvae live directly under the grass that they can eat. A badger also eats forest fruits, acorns, snails and mushrooms.
The tie is not often heard. When a badger gets excited, it may bleat, sniff and growl. When a badger screams loudly, it’s probably scared, hurt, or in a fight.
The badger has no natural enemies. Traffic in the Netherlands is responsible for the deaths of fifteen hundred badgers per year.
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