The Remote Exploration of Badger Burrows

by Brittany Denker
Biology
Faculty advisor: Richard Lampe

Taxidea taxus, the North American Badger, is well known for its extraordinary digging ability. This research centered on the idea of being able to study and measure the den from the inside. Previous research on burrows formed by badgers has only gathered data after the den has been unearthed mechanically. This approach destroys the subject of study. We tried to develop a vehicle that would be able to enter burrows while recording information. Our first effort was a remotely controlled 1/24 scale replica of an M1A2 Abrams Tank. Difficulties with it came from it being too large to enter most burrows. Another tracked, motorized crawler (A Tamiya Rescue Crawler) was built. It was not sturdy enough for the rigors of entering and navigating a burrow. Further modification needs to be done before we are successful in gathering the desired data.