The distribution of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles, L.) in the Netherlands is fragmented and adult mortality is high in many places because of traffic casualties. Both these facts affect the survival and dispersal of badgers in a negative way and are suggested to be the main causes of the decline of this species. For this reason the species receives special attention from the government in the national Nature Policy Plan and also from the lower administration in the provinces in their policy on physical planning and nature conservation. To evaluate changes in land use by means of spatial scenarios and conservation strategies in favour of the species, an individual-based simulation model was built that describes population dynamics in space and time. The model was used to evaluate three scenarios. The results indicate that the survival of groups benefits strongly from measures directed at lowering adult mortality. Also the (re)colonization of suitable but not inhabited areas increases the survival and is favoured by measures that encourage dispersal. The results indicate that simulation models as described are useful tools for establishing the comparative effectiveness of plans or measures aimed at increasing the viability of the species.
van Apeldoorn, R. C., Knaapen, J. P., Schippers, J., Verboom, J., van Engen, H., & Meeuwsen, H. (1998). Applying ecological knowledge in landscape planning: a simulation model as a tool to evaluate scenarios for the badger in the Netherlands. Landscape and Urban Planning, 41, 57-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-2046(97)00058-3