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By Timothy J Roper

The badger is a huge mammal, universal yet very not often visible in Britain, which has turn into certainly one of Britain's best-loved animals. This quantity finds the extreme complicated way of life that enables this secretive animal to reside in even the main built-up parts of Britain.

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In Europe in general, however, human persecution may be the single most important determinant of differences in badger population density. Across most of continental Europe, badgers are, or have been until recently, hunted, either for FIG 14. Distribution of badgers in Belgium, based on presence in 5 × 5 km squares. Yellow area: Flanders. White area: Wallonia. (Original from Scheppers, 2009) reasons of sport, because they damage crops, for their commodity value or just because of a deep-rooted conviction among hunters, gamekeepers and farmers that carnivore numbers need to be controlled.

Factors affecting population density In general terms, if badgers are to thrive, they need a suitable climate, adequate food resources, somewhere to dig their burrows, a sufficient level of immunity from disease and safety from persecution by humans or predators. Population density in any one place most likely reflects the combined impact of all of these variables. However, the relative importance of different factors seems to depend on the geographical scale at which comparisons are made–that is, whether we are talking about differences in population density at global, national, regional or local level.

10). Within Europe, badgers are more or less ubiquitous, being absent only from Iceland, northern Russia, northern Scandinavia and various small islands (Fig. 11). Less is known about their distribution in the vertical dimension but they occur at altitudes ranging from sea level to at least 2,300 m. If proof were needed of the species’ adaptability, here it is. On the other hand, this broad picture of the species’ range masks very significant variation in population density (Fig. 12). For example, more than half of the European population of badgers resides in just three countries: the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

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