Badgers Białowieża Forest Our research

Our new paper about badger denning behaviour in a landscape of fear

badger-paper-j-zool

The Journal of Zoology recently published our paper entititled ‘Fossoriality in a risky landscape: badger sett use varies with perceived wolf risk’. In it, we analysed how the denning behaviour of the badger varies across the Białowieża Forest landscape. We found that badgers use dens far less often in areas that wolves use intensively, compared with areas that wolves use infrequently.

It’s one of the first studies showing that badgers can change their behaviour in response to the presence of wolves. For me, it also raises question about the consequences of the extinction of wolves from the British Isles. Badgers likely behave very differently in a habitat without apex predators, like in the UK, compared to how they behave in more natural habitats, where they co-exist with their natural predators – areas where they have to be vigilant to avoid being killed.

Tom Diserens is a biologist living in the Białowieża Primeval Forest in Poland. He works on the ecology and conservaton of wolves at the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is currently the sole writer on this blog, which he developed to share content on wolves and wildlife in Poland. Follow him on facebook for regular updates from Europe's last primeval forest - www.facebook.com/tomdiserens

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