A former wife of a badger woman has spoken of her pain after losing her only child to a disease that causes the animals to die.
A study from the University of Western Australia found the disease causes a loss of body hair and facial hair in badgers.
It found it is one of the worst killers of badgers in the world.
The study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at the death rate of badger in Australia and New Zealand between 1992 and 2013.
The research found the badgers have a mortality rate of 1.8 deaths per 100,000 animals, a rate higher than other large carnivores like lions, tigers and leopards.
The badgers are found across Australia and the Northern Territory.
They are the only carnivore species that can be found in the Southern Hemisphere.
Badgers are protected under the Endangered Species Act, but they have a low population and are listed as a threatened species.
The loss of the animal’s hair and its facial appearance is what has lead some researchers to question whether badgers were really as bad as they were portrayed to be.
Badger researchers said they were working on a plan to find out how to help the species, and the study was funded by the Australian Government.
Professor Susan MacNeil said her research had been prompted by the badger’s decline.
“Badger hair is very important, because it protects the badging from the elements and predators,” she said.
“It also helps protect the badge from the effects of cold temperatures.”
The badger has an estimated population of 10,000.
Professor MacNeil and her colleagues were working with badger research scientist Dr Sarah Kewell.
Professor Kewel said the badged animals were the first carnivore in the Northern Hemisphere to be considered endangered and that the research showed that the animals were suffering.
“The badged are dying out,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“They’re being wiped out from the southern hemisphere, and in Australia there’s a shortage of breeding females for the badges in the south.”
Badger research is important because the animals are very sensitive to climate change, Professor Kewelle said.
Professor Michael Wilson from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University in Queensland said badgers played a critical role in Australia’s ecosystems.
“I think it’s great to see good work being done on the issue of the badlands, and it’s an opportunity for us to really be looking at ways that we can help these iconic animals,” he said.
Mr Wilson said the researchers were looking into the use of badged nets and nets of different shapes and sizes to provide protection for the animals.
Topics:animals,science-and-technology,research,health,health-policy,badger,nsw,australia,lincoln-2040,wa,nh,qld,vic,south-austraya-4000,canberra-2600,vicsource Google News