In June 2019, ACD Environmental’s Director of Ecology Daniel Wood spent a fascinating 3 days working with Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) Badger Research Project.
WildCRU’s badger project began in 1987, building on earlier data stretching back to the early 1970s. Focused on badgers living at Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire, an Estate owned and managed by Oxford University. Wytham’s badger population is amongst the densest in the world, with around 200-250 adult badgers alive at any one time, producing 20-80 cubs per year. These are spread between 23 social groups, using over 70 large setts distributed across 4km2 of woodland.
The project is run by Oxford University Department of Zoology’s Dr Chris Newman and Dr Christina Buesching, on behalf of Prof. David Macdonald.
Since 1987, each year WildCRU’s research team have undertaken 3-4 systematic trap – handle/sample – release sessions. During Daniel’s time spent with the research team, a total of 24 badgers were humanely captured, processed and released. The badgers were sedated to enable handling, then a number of measurements/samples were taken, which provide information for a host of studies, including hormones, diseases and immunological responses. The work undertaken by WildCRU also includes research looking at how changes in habitat, weather, and climate change can affect variability in their food supply.
For more information on WildCRU’s Badger Research Project, visit their website at https://www.wildcru.org/research/the-badger-project/
If you require professional advice about protected species with regards to a development project, please contact ACD Environmental Ltd.