Badgers and the setts they live in are legally protected so it is important to know where they are found before starting work on a site. For linear developments like roads, railways and pipelines it can also be important to find the paths badgers use between their setts and feeding areas to work out if they will be separated.
A badger survey can be done by systematically searching an area for signs of badgers and mapping these signs. Based on the results it is then possible to work out if any proposal is likely to affect badgers and if so what can be done to comply with the law – see protected species licencing and mitigation.
Because of the risks of badger baiting the full results of a badger survey are normally presented in a separate report that is confidential between the ecologist, client and any government regulators involved.