• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Proc Biol Sci. Jul 22, 1998; 265(1403): 1269–1276.
PMCID: PMC1689199

Movement of badgers (Meles meles) in a high-density population: individual, population and disease effects.


The movement of 1763 badgers trapped between 36 social groups in Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire, over 18 years was analysed to determine the frequency and duration of moves, the factors associated with a predisposition to move and the spatial pattern of movements. Of those badgers whose capture history could be categorized, nearly half had moved. Of these, 73.1% were classified as 'occasional movers', 22.1% as 'permanent movers' and 4.8% as 'frequent movers'. Most adult badgers that moved made occasional moves (78.8%, n = 67). Cubs made all types of move including permanent moves (29%, n = 10). Seventy per cent of females were non-movers compared with 37% of males. Badgers were significantly more likely to move to smaller groups, whereas male badgers were significantly more likely to move to groups with a greater proportion of females. The spatial pattern of movement differed from the distribution of groups with bovine tuberculosis in the study area. However, temporal changes in movement were significantly related to the incidence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the following year, indicating that as the movement of badgers between groups varies so does the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in the population. This finding is of central importance in the formulation of badger control policy.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (297K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Clifton-Hadley RS, Wilesmith JW, Stuart FA. Mycobacterium bovis in the European badger (Meles meles): epidemiological findings in tuberculous badgers from a naturally infected population. Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Aug;111(1):9–19. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society