A WILDLIFE charity has blamed the mild winter and the need to find a mate for a higher than normal number of badger deaths on Argyll roads over recent weeks.
Andy Riches, a trustee of Scottish Badgers, an independent conservation charity, said: ‘The situation with road casualties is very unfortunate.
Thousands of badgers are killed on roads each year. Scottish Badgers keeps records of every road death we are notified of and this information helps with various aspects of our work as well as highlighting areas where many accidents take place to enable mitigation to be considered.’
Andy explained that this is a busy time for badgers for a number of reasons. Badgers are not only emerging from a winter period of limited activity and are looking to gain weight but they will also have young who are beginning to emerge from the sett and venture forth into the world. A lot of the males will also be looking for mating opportunities in neighbouring social groups.
All this, along with recent weather conditions, means that this is the time of year when badgers are at their most active.
Andy continued: ‘This year, the relatively mild winter and the particularly mild spell of late means that pretty much all the badgers in the area are out and about foraging and courting. It is the mild weather and not a sudden explosion in badger numbers that is responsible for what people are noticing.’
Motorists in Argyll are encouraged to watch out for badgers on the road at this time of year and any badger deaths can be reported on www.scottishbadgers.org.uk.