Farmers in Scotland are being urged to support survey work to monitor badger populations and their impact on farming and biodiversity.
A recent NatureScot report raised gaps in knowledge relating to badger numbers and population changes in recent years and their interactions with farming and biodiversity.
To get a more accurate understanding, NatureScot is working with NFU Scotland to capture basic information from farmers to fill in knowledge gaps about badger behaviour and populations.
The feedback will help inform the body on potential areas where more intensive studies could be carried out into how badgers interact and impact on agriculture.
The ultimate aim of the survey is to inform ‘best practice’ policy going forward.
Chair of NFU Scotland’s environment and land use committee, Angus MacFadyen said: "We would like to encourage as many members as possible to take part in our short online survey which will run from now into March.
"We also encourage them to contact NatureScot whenever they become aware of, or suspect they have badger activity on their land.
“Establishing a true record of populations and their activity, is essential to help influence policy going forward and enable us to enhance biodiversity benefits without compromising on agriculture production."
Morag Milne, wildlife policy officer at NatureScot added: “We welcome this opportunity to work with NFU Scotland and gather farmers’ and crofters’ experiences on how badgers may impact their land.
"There is a lack of evidence about their effect in Scotland, and we look forward to working with NFUS to get a better understanding.”