Biodiversity Online Big Suffolk Field



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Dr Tanesha Allen: Research

Dr Tanesha Allen is a zoologist and behavioural ecologist who recently completed her DPhil at the Oxford University Department of Zoology.

Her research focuses on the behaviour and communication of European badgers. She has a passion for educational outreach and for encouraging marginalised and underrepresented students to apply to University.


Dr Tanesha Allen: Response

"Badgers are peculiar creatures who love earthworms (which are bountiful in the types of fields depicted in this artwork). While searching for earthworms, badgers will deposit scent signals on surfaces like paths, rocks, or even other badgers. These scent signals convey messages about each badger, like their identity, social group, sex, age, and reproductive status. This information is then used when deciding how to navigate social interactions. 

One way that badgers send scent signals is with their unique subcaudal gland underneath their tail. This secretion has a margarine-like texture, and badgers deposit it by briefly sitting down on a surface."



Badger (Meles meles)

The process of turning wild habitats into farmland tends to reduce biodiversity; replacing a variety of wild plant life with a single food crop. This has a knock-on effect on the entire food chain, reducing the diversity of the fungal and animal species that exist there too. Maintaining hedgerows around fields can be vital in ensuring that omnivores like badgers have access to a variety of plant and animal matter to feed on.

Hare (Lepus europaeus)

Hares tend to be found in landscapes with a mixture of farmland and woodland.