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Badger Protection and Imbalance (11.9.05)

Badger Sets at 1,500 feet in the Elan Valley - Mid Wales

The protected badger has greatly increased in numbers and territory in Mid-Wales reaching the highest ground, where it competes for food with the red fox and protected raptors such as the buzzard, peregrine falcon and in some places the hen harrier.

Reliable estimates suggest an increase in badger numbers by a factor of at least 10 since protection legislation. Badgers compete with foxes for lambs and a whole range of ground nesting birds, hedgehogs and small mammals, thereby depriving rare species of carrion or key food supplies.

In the Welsh uplands the detrimental imbalance in species numbers has reached crisis proportions, where all species are suffering in one way or another. Badgers are known to be making a serious impact on live lamb losses with lamb wool remains at these sets.

As far as ground nesting birds are concerned, in this area they have all but disappeared. The larder for the predators is bare. Many insects like the bumble bee, which are plant specific are being wiped out by badger predation, with serious consequences within the complex chain of action and re-action for many species of insects and plants.

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management



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