On average 5 to 7 years, though exceptionally some manage to reach the age of 12 or 13.
Just once. Litters average from 3 to 5 cubs, but mortality is high. A cub's first year is critical. Typically in a litter of five only one or two survive more than a year.
Mostly natural foods, worms, beetles, berries, cereals and fallen fruit for example.
They are foragers, not hunters, but like foxes are also opportunists and will feed on carrion, live rodents and newly born rabbits if they come across them.
No. It is regarded as poor. They rely heavily on their exceptional hearing and acute sense of smell.
It's not easy if they are hungry and food elsewhere is scarce. Strong, well maintained fencing, with thick wire mesh attached and trenched in (to prevent them tunnelling underneath) is the best solution. Electric fencing works but is expensive and often impractical. There are no legal chemical deterrents, but a radio left playing quietly through the night will deter them. Click for more information.
As ever, food is the lure. A regular supply of peanuts, the sort you buy for birds, will attract them. Wait until the light is fading, so birds and squirrels don't get them first, or put the peanuts in between two house bricks. Badgers are strong enough to move the bricks. They love pieces of fruit; apples, plums and pears especially, but don't offer them citrus fruits or onions. They'll devour peanut butter smeared on bread with a great smacking of lips!
No. Most badgers are healthy, TB free. Don't believe the scare stories. TB transmission from badgers to humans is unheard of.
Remember: TB is essentially a respiratory disease requiring close contact. That's how infected cattle pass TB to others in the same herd sharing the same housing.
To be safe, avoid contact with badger faeces, as you would with all faecal matter.
Badgers would much prefer to avoid conflict wherever possible and will run away back into their setts wherever they can. Like any animal (or human) though - if threatened or injured and cornered, they will defend themselves fiercely.
Be patient. Don't panic. Don't damage the sett (that's an offence). Just wait. Talk quietly in a reassuring voice. Invariably the dog will reappear.
It may take hours, occasionally days. In extreme cases the local Fire Brigade may help. But by law they must wait for two days before digging into a sett.
Best advice - be safe, keep your dog (especially terriers) away from setts and on a lead.
Warwickshire has a large population of badgers, but most setts are on privately owned ground. So if you locate one - look for large mounds of excavated soil - you should ask the landowner's permission. To watch a sett, always sits downwind, keep still and be patient. Visit www.badgerland.co.uk for national details of sites offering badger watching opportunities.
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