Badger

A badger cannot be mistaken fo any other creature, with a head showing distinctive black and white stripes. They are usually seen alone. It is Scotland’s largest surviving carnivore and is a confident nocturnal forager with a rolling gait and an individual can make quite a lot of noise ranging from grunts and snorts to an eerie yelp.

Badgers can be seen all year round. They are active at night and will be rarely seen in the daytime except in exceptionally hot weather, when animals will rest on the surface. They live in an extensive underground communal tunnel and nest chamber system called a sett. They emerge at sunset and can take quite a time to actually leave the entrance tunnel. Young badgers play in and around the sett in late spring and early summer. In winter when the weather is cold or inclement, animals can sleep in for periods of several days.

A badger lives an independent life and is not very sociable as an adult. They are often most easily seen in the evening near to a sett, which is very obvious with multiple tunnel entrances with earth carefully spread away from them. A badger is a creature of routine and uses the same paths regularly. It is omnivorous, but feeds mostly on earthworms that come to the surface on grassland at night.

Badgers are strictly protected from human disturbance, particularly in the ground around a sett. Their wholesale culling may soon be authorised by the Government. They are blamed for the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis in cattle, yet TB is an anerobic bacillus and persists in the soil and could be just as easily carried by a mole or a bank vole.

Otter

Otter

Lutra lutra

Otters are highly adapted aquatic hunters, who are related to badger and pine marten, and are one of the most eagerly sought, yet elusive mammals in Scotland. They are usually a shade of light brown, which can look darker when wet. They have a streamli...

Pine marten

Pine marten

Martes martes

This agile tree dwelling mammal is part of the badger and otter family. It has a dark brown coat and a bushy tail. Each pine marten has a unique bib pattern under its chin and down its chest, which can be coloured from an orange-yellow to almost white. ...