About seven thousand badgers live in the Netherlands, but due to the high population density, their natural habitat is very limited.
They often dig burrows under relatively “quiet” train dams, which are located away from people and are also slightly elevated, preventing the burrow from flooding.
Dutch authorities recently reported forty places where railway lines are likely to be at risk. In Friesland, rail network operator ProRail is building an artificial settlement to lure badgers to a safer location, the site reports. Watchman.
“The area around the line is clearly an attractive environment for badgers because the embankment is made of sand, which is where they like to build their burrows,” said ProRail spokesperson Aldert Bass.
“Very few people pass by, which suits these shy animals, often an elevated feature. And Friesland is flat as pie.”
ProRail announced this week that it has stopped trains between ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Boxtel in the south of the country, also affecting freight services. A hole under the tracks in the town of Esch meant that the line was not safe.
For the second time in a week we have to stop train services because badgers are digging under the railway track. “It will take a lot of time to sort it out because we have to get permission from the authorities,” said John Faubin, CEO of ProRail.
It’s not the right time
In Esch, volunteers from the Dassenwerkgroep Brabant badger working group are ready to help injured animals if the authorities decide to dig their burrows.
However, board member Karen Deriksova believes that the time has not yet come.
“They waited so long. In winter, badgers are quieter and in spring they spring-clean and dig more. That’s why there is sudden alarm,” Deriksova said. “The mating and littering season lasts until July. “We understand the needs of train operators, but this is not the time of year,” she added.
One of the greatest hoards of Roman coins was excavated by badgers
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