A Dundee zoology student has had a rare find on his hidden nature cameras.
Wayne Gourlay decided to pass the time during lockdown by setting up the cameras around the north end of Dundee to see what wildlife could be found in the area.
To his surprise, he managed to capture a badger on camera, a sight that is rare within the city and could potentially be one of very few in the area.
While the badger was the most exciting result of Wayne’s wildlife cameras, they were not his only spot.
Wayne, 22, said: “Since the quarantine situation I have been using camera traps in a local woodland to monitor wildlife activity.
“I initially set the cameras out to monitor roe deer and red fox activity.
“But as well as the badger, I’ve managed to capture footage of several red foxes, a large herd of roe deer and various different bird species.
“My biggest surprise though was the badger.
“I am absolutely delighted and extremely proud of my findings.
“Since I was very young I’ve spent a lot of time in woodland areas and other nature reserves.
“It was a complete shock to capture footage of the badger on camera, not only once but over several varying nights.
“Having potentially located the first population of badgers in the city I’ve grown up in, gives an immense feeling of satisfaction and achievement.”
Wayne, who is from Whitfield, studies zoology at the University of St Andrews and last year he spent a month spotting some more exotic animals as he travelled to the Guiana Shield in Venezuela to gain experience working in the ecosystem which he hopes will help his future career.
It is not known exactly why badgers have snubbed Dundee’s more rural areas as a place to inhabit in the past.
However Wayne hopes that the sighting is a positive step in perhaps seeing more of them in the area in the future.
He said: “Dundee has historically had little to no badger activity and I believe this may be due to lack of suitable habitat.
“Badgers preferentially select woodland, ideally in a slope but also forage open country.
“Due to their nocturnal and elusive nature it may be that they are starting to move in to the outskirts of the city but without being noticed.
“I don’t believe the activity is a result of the current Covid-19 lockdown situation. However this is a positive note especially during this time for the city and nature as a whole.”
Wayne’s research has also been backed by Scottish Badgers, the authority that deals with badger sightings, but he urges others who may have seen badgers to get in touch.
He added: “If anyone has seen or knows of any other badgers in Dundee city or surrounding areas it would be fantastic if you could report them to operationscoordinator@ scottishbadgers.org.uk or via scottishbadgers.org.uk.”