Badger with a story – In the Oeverlanden

In the summer of 2022, a unique find was observed in the Oeverlanden. At the edge of the driveway they found an European badger (Meles Meles). The badger was already dead and most likely hit by a car. Badgers have never before been observed in the Oeverlanden, which makes the discovery of the badger very special.

Female badger

After observation it turns out to be a female who had completely eaten herself with blackberries. The female badger was quite young: 2 to 3 years old. According to sources, badgers live to be around 15 to 16 years old in the wild, but the average age is around 5 years because the species is regularly hit by cars.

Source: De Oeverlanden Blijven!

How does the badger live?

The badger belongs to the mustelid family and is one of the largest land predators in the Netherlands. It is a nocturnal animal that leaves the burrow (gait system with several tunnels) at sunset and goes in search of food. They eat almost anything, but mainly search among the grass for worms, forest fruits, tubers, mushrooms and much more. The eyes of the badger are adapted to the dark, because they see minimally in daylight. The eyes are small, and it mainly uses its nose and ears for looking for food and guarding its territory.

The largest population of badgers lives in the Veluwe, North Brabant and South Limburg. There are around 12,000 badgers in the Netherlands. In 2022, 40 badgers were observed in North Holland with the help of

In the field study center

The association “De Oeverlanden Blijven!”, with which Natuurkampen cooperates, was interested in having the tie put on. The female badger is used for nature and environmental education at the field study center de Oeverlanden. The badger is now prepared in the field study center and is the showpiece of the collection.

Source: De Oeverlanden Blijven!

The 4 mushroom tips for in the field

It’s autumn… It’s time to look for mushrooms! Damp autumn weather is the ideal time to look for and identify mushrooms. We have set up a video with a number of tips so that you are sure to be successful. Watch the video here! Which species have you spotted?

1 Look below, above or on old tree trunks

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a fungus. Several fungal threads are attached to the mushroom that run underground or tree bark. You can compare the mushroom with an apple (fruit) on the apple tree. The fungus clears up old material, such as broken tree trunks. That’s why it’s the place to find mushrooms!

2 Search near deciduous trees such as alder and oak

About half of the native mushroom species occur in deciduous forests. Forests with deciduous trees contain relatively less litter and vegetation, which is a favorable environment for many species.

A Xylaria hypoxylon on a black alder

3 Use a mirror and magnifying glass

A mirror is a handy gadget that helps you identify the mushroom. By holding the mirror under the cap of the mushroom you can sometimes see pictures or tubes (depending on the species). The tracks are in these inner walls. For example, a boletus does not have plates but holes, such as porcini mushrooms. You can also use the magnifying glass to get a better look at the details of the mushroom.

4 Bring a search card or download ObsIdentify

A search map is a handy tool that helps you identify the mushroom. Using questions, such as are there holes under the hat, will help you find the right kind. You can order the mushroom search card via our website. Is the species not on the map? Then use ObsIdentify. You take a number of photos of the species, then the app tells you which species it most likely is (with a percentage). Check whether the species is correct by means of a mushroom guide.

Did you know that we also offer mushroom excursions for young and old? At the beginning of this month, Paul organized a mushroom activity with Vrijeschool Kairos! Send us an email for more information about a mushroom field trip.

(Benthic) Animal Day

Animals are important! They are part of a community of life. A meadow is an example of a community. The elderberry, grasshopper and frog are (in)directly dependent on each other within the area. A collection of different living communities is called an ecosystem. Like a forest and heathland.

Animals are an important part of our fieldwork programs. We study, determine and establish relationships between fauna (biotic) and abiotic factors in an area. Even the littlest ones are studied at Natuurkampen: benthic animals.

Zoekkaart Bodemdieren | webwinkel ARK

Source: ARK

Benthic animals can be found just above the ground and in the benthic zone (the layer below the ground where organisms still exist). They are important for keeping the soil healthy. Soil animals mixed the earth by moving in the soil and fed on dead plant and animal remains.

Benthic animal research is discussed during field work days. We discuss the different techniques for searching, catching and identifying benthic animals. Then the students do their own research. An investigation that took place earlier this year was: the biodiversity in benthic animals and the moisture of the soil. Very interesting!

The benthic animal days are currently taking place to introduce young and old to the benthic life! Activities and workshops are taking place throughout the Netherlands and you can download teaching materials online. You can also participate in the benthic animal count, where you note down the observed animals. This provides a better picture of the benthic animals present in NL. All information can be found on the website of the bodemdierendagen.

Determine Mushrooms

Beautiful, isn’t it, those mushrooms? Like this one, the fairytale antler fungus (left in the photo). The name says it all, the fruiting body is shaped like deer antlers. The species is indispensable, like all fungi. They remove natural waste and create fertile soil again, allowing new plants to grow.

Do you like identifying mushrooms? Then try the ObsIdentify app. It is free to download for Android and Apple. You take a photo and then the app tells you which species it is (with a percentage chance). It is a handy tool that you can use next to an identification book or search card. You can link this app with so that the observed species is immediately added to the database. Ideal!