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Badger sightings in Hope Cove

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Eurasian Badgers are found across the UK. Badgers are a protected native animal that have lived in occur country for 250,000 years. They mainly live in rural countryside forests or in hedgerows.

They live in Clans of 6 members in setts amid the rural countryside. Their sett can have up to 10 entrances and is a complicated extensive system of tunnels and chambers, extending over 50-150 hectares. Badger holes are generally in the shape of a D and are about 20 cm wide. The clan is usually made up of one dominant boar (male) and one or two sows (females) with cubs. Badgers are 56-90 cm long and weigh between 10-12 kg. They have a short neck and legs with a powerful body and a small tail (12-20cm). The main body and tail is grey with a black underbelly and legs. They have a white face with distinctive black stripes that varies for every badger. Their black stripes go from their ears to their nose with one on each side of their face. These stripes allow other badgers to recognise each other.

Badgers are nocturnal so the best time to spot them is after sunset and until dawn. They are omnivorous creatures that mainly eat earthworms, but other insects, small mammals, frogs, eggs, carrion, fruits and small lizards make up the rest of their varied diet (depending on the season). Badgers have poor eyesight but have a better sense of hearing and a keen sense of smell.

Sows have a gestation period of 7 weeks, but prior to this they have a delayed implantation (when fertilised eggs do not implant into the womb lining) period of 10 months. She can produce up to 6 cubs which suckle for 10 weeks. Badger cubs are normally born from February to the end of April, the most during the beginning of April, but some cubs have been born halfway through December. The cubs stay in the sett until they are at least 8 weeks old. The best time to spot badger cubs is early May to late June. You are very unlikely to spot badger cubs during the day. The most likely time to spot them is during the night, but if you do make sure you keep your distance.

Devon has a large population of badgers, so sightings during the night is highly likely. With our narrow Devonshire roads, a sighting whilst driving at night is highly likely, so please drive carefully. Badgers are a protected species under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Sitings are more likely further inland but some do live on the outskirts of Hope Cove and Galmpton.

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