Research into the European Badger (Meles meles) and their extraordinary nocturnal behaviours is really rather exciting… have you heard the good news!? The University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (Wild CRU) and Wellcome Sanger Institute have been looking into how badger biology and behaviour are giving us insights into the impacts of disease and climate change on the UK landscape.
They collected some blood samples from an individual badger plus both of its parents (don’t worry, they are all happy and healthy) in Wytham Woods – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Oxford. They then extracted DNA from the samples, to sequence and build a genome profile. The best thing about this? Well, the badger is an indictor species of climate change. Because of its widespread habitat – across much of Eastern Europe, Asia and Japan – badgers are a good model species through which to assess the impacts and the way that ecosystems are affected by rising temperatures, more volatile weather patterns and changing land use.
And don’t forget you can follow this species too via your dashboard!