The Dublin and Wicklow badger group is an association whose members have a shared interest in badgers. Activities include
Surveys:Mapping and recording the location of badger setts and badger numbers. This information is not shared publicly and is only used to assist in badger conservation.
Education: Promoting understanding of and pride in one of our most recognisable wild animals. Members give talks, in schools e.g., on request.
Protection: Helping to detect violations of the law and ensure the prosecution of anyone found killing or interfering with badgers, a protected species under the Wildlife Act (1976; amended 2000), or their setts.
Rescue: Facilitating the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured or orphaned badgers (using our connections with animal welfare organizations, veterinarians & landowners).
Advice: Helping landowners and gardeners with badger problems.
Advocacy: Encouraging badger-friendly farming and land use and promoting awareness and appreciation of our wildlife generally.
Volunteering: We are available to assist in badger research. Members include qualified scientists.
Watching badgers: Last but not least, simply watching badgers!
Membership of the group is free of charge and is open to all.
Posted by Admin, Wednesday, 23rd October 2013 @ 4:39pm
This speech by Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor at Care for The Wild, at the UK Badger Trust's 2013 conference is worth watching. Whether one agrees with his analysis or not the level of public support for wildlife and environmental conservation in the UK is impressive. Meanwhile, here in Ireland, the Irish Wildlife Trust has laid off its only employee. Dyer's twitter feed is here: https://twitter.com/domdyer70.
Anecdotal evidence of badgers giving cattle a wide berth has been known for a long time. Now, for the first time, there's a quantitative evidence that badgers out foraging in pastures keep their distance from cattle.
In a paper published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science (144 (2013): 130-137), Enda Mullen of the National Parks and Wildlife Service et al. record the use made by GPS-collared wild badgers of a series of pastures which were grazed on a rotational basis by cows. Badgers were found to avoid paddocks with cattle in them. Even preferred paddocks were avoided when cattle were present.
Direct inter-specific transmission of bovine TB is considered unlikely and greater study of indirect transmission routes is recommended. The authors say "There is no doubt that badgers do transmit TB to cattle and that they are recognised as a reservoir for the disease...". In context it's fair comment, but the the truth is that the disease is bovine TB and it might be equally well be said that "There is no doube that the cattle transmit TB to badgers, and vice versa, and that both are recognised as a reservoir for the disease...".