Badger Surveys: Bait Marking Surveys

What is a Badger Bait Marking Survey?

Badger bait marking surveys are a method for establishing how two or more badger clans use an area of landscape. Badgers are social but territorial, meaning that a clan of badgers shares a territory which has a boundary with the clan adjacent to it. Sometimes, it is important to understand which clan is using your site, especially in the case of linear schemes which might separate a main sett from a foraging area.

The survey technique involves mixing small, inert coloured beads into badger food (a mix of peanuts and syrup) and placing this around the main sett. The badgers from that sett then eat the food, beads and all, and head out across their territory to forage. The badgers use 'latrines' around their territory, especially along the boundary with adjacent clans, and the beads naturally end up in these locations. By mapping which beads end up in which latrines, you can soon work out the home range of each badger sett and understand their use of your site.

 

How can LSC help?

Our Ecologists have undertaken a number of bait-marking surveys over recent years, to gather information on site use for major infrastructure schemes as well as multi-plot housing developments. We can draw upon this experience to provide the most effective and efficient survey design for your site to provide the information you need to support Planning. Our team can assist with advice on avoidance or compensation/mitigation habitat, as well as habitat design and maintenance of connectivity to ensure the long-term wellbeing of the badger setts.

Our surveys are completed to the Best Practice Guidelines outlined by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and our reports consistently provide the information required by our clients to secure Planning Permission.

 An example of the distribution of territory between two badger clans, coloured according to the bait colour used.

An example of the distribution of territory between two badger clans, coloured according to the bait colour used.


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