Reduction of badger (Meles meles) setts damage to artificial elements of the territory
More details
Hide details
Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Pavia
Publish date: 2000-09-10
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2000;11(2)
Abstract In the Alessandria section of the Turin railway-basin (northern Italy), the presence of the badger (Meles meles) setts in railway embankments causes progressive track subsidence. Rail traffic is dangerous and continuous maintenance and surveillance are required. In the past, the problem was managed without success, by trying to damage and disturb the setts. In 1997 the Italian Railways decided to promote some specific research. Four used setts have been found along the surveyed lines. The choice of a suitable site to dig the sett appears to be influenced only by pedological parameters. A comparison of used and unused banks revealed that soils with significantly lower percentages of gravel and higher percentages of fine sands are preferred. Badgers have been deterred from using one of the found setts, and successively the railway embankment has been covered with chain link fencing. Methods and results are discussed.