Badgers and foxes in front of the camera at the Ilon Reserve

6 April 2021

We had been wondering for a long time whether a family of badgers (Meles meles) lived in the Ilon Regional Nature Reserve. Last autumn, we located several burrows during our field surveys. We therefore decided to install cameras in these burrows from February onwards in order to check whether they were being used and by which species. We selected which entrances to place the cameras at according to the signs of activity (fresh soil, footprints, signs of activity around).

After a period of fine-tuning and finding the ideal location for the cameras, our efforts were quickly rewarded: one of the burrows is actively used by a pair of badgers, while the other is frequently visited by two foxes and sometimes even by badgers!

Badgers are tireless workers who can dig gigantic tunnel systems. The two entrances we watched are 83 m apart, but there is a good chance that they belong to the same burrow system. Badgers and foxes sometimes use the same burrows, and this may be the case here, although the second burrow does not appear to be actively used.

The videos obtained allow us to better understand the behaviour of these two species on the reserve. Both species are predators and regulators that are essential for the biodiversity of a natural and protected site such as the Ilon Reserve. Neither species can be hunted on the site; if all goes well, we hope to have the chance to film the birth of small badgers in the coming weeks!

Below is one of ‘our’ badgers busy digging…

And if you’ve never heard a fox scream, now’s your chance!

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