Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Provision of artificial badger setts and use of remote camera monitoring to determine Eurasian badger Meles meles sett occupancy, Suffolk, England

Published source details

McDonald P.J. & Allen T.P. (2011) Provision of artificial badger setts and use of remote camera monitoring to determine Eurasian badger Meles meles sett occupancy, Suffolk, England. Conservation Evidence, 8, 107-110

Summary

During electricity substation upgrading works at a site in Suffolk (England), five Eurasian badger Meles meles setts were closed (under licence) in 2009 as they were directly under the footprint of the works. As part of the licence agreement, mitigation included provision of three artificial setts. After completion of construction, monitoring indicated that all three setts displayed signs of occupancy and increased badger commuting and foraging evidence around their vicinity. In 2011, a remote motion-activated  infra-red camera was used to determine badger occupancy at a three-entrance outlier sett that also required closure during the badger breeding season. Previous extensive monitoring showed that badgers were unlikely to be present. However, a monitoring program using the remote camera was implemented to ensure that this was the case. When evident that badgers were not using the sett, it was destroyed under supervision of an ecologist. Being a novel, non-invasive monitoring technique this was done in liaison with the governmental statutory body, Natural England, but without the need for a licence. Remote monitoring techniques like this could be applied in similar situations where work is required during the badger breeding season (December to June) when licences are not normally issued.