Für die Menschen. Für Westfalen-Lippe.

Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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European badger

Rote Liste NRW: u Ungefährdet

Meles meles




Foto: Jan Ole Kriegs/LWL
The badger with its black-and-white facial markings is one of our best-known carnivores even though few people have ever seen a living badger. Our badgers are extremely shy and nocturnally active. The large and stout badgers inhabit burrow system they excavate themselves; the so-called badger setts consisting of a 5-meter deep living chamber and a complex system of access and aeration tunnels. Badger setts are used for several decades in part even over a hundred years by many badger generations and are continuously expanded in the process. Sometimes foxes live concurrently with the badgers in parts of the same burrow system. In contrast to other mustelids the badger is no excessive meat eater. All year long it utilizes an "in season" vegetarian diet. However, invertebrates, especially earthworms are also an important part of the diet..

In North Rhine-Westphalia the badger is practically distributed area-wide with the highest densities reached in the areas of the mountain ranges. Only in densely populated areas does the badger not occur, with the exception of a few burrows, which are found in undisturbed areas of parks and small forests inside settlements. With the appearance of rabies in the 1950s the number of badgers in the state declined. But especially the gassing of the burrows during the 1960s to fight rabies finally led to the broad collapse of the badger population in NRW. Since the termination of burrow gassing at the beginning of the 1970s, the badger population in NRW has now risen to an encouraging level.


Jan Ole Kriegs


Kriegs JO (2023): Dachs (Meles meles).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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