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who's been digging on my land?

 
Stuart Smith
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Location: Tuscany, Italy
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Hello all,

I have a puzzle I'd love to solve before we have no terraces left!

We moved to Italy to set up a small holding and this spring something nocturnal has been systematically digging huge holes in the ground all over the place, big enough for my head to fit in, never seems like it's anything more than an animal looking for something rather than making a new home.

We have badger, fox, porcupine and boar here, I don't think its the latter as evidence of their rooting around is quite obvious, this looks like something digging with front paws.

Any ideas?

Thanks all.
 
Deb Stephens
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Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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A picture is worth a thousand words -- do you have any of the holes? Also, any tracks we could look at and maybe ID? Of course, someone may think you have buried treasure on the property...
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Could be badger, if they're related to our badgers, they're very curious and make their living eating rodents and other pest that would be living in a terrace environment, if you were in Texas, skunks and armadillos would also make the suspect list.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Could be a fox; my mother in law has to fill in a couple big holes every morning in her London garden. She says they're digging for worms.
 
Stuart Smith
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Location: Tuscany, Italy
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Thanks all for the replies, here's a picture in case it helps.

DSC_4817.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC_4817.JPG]
 
Deb Stephens
Posts: 374
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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books dog food preservation forest garden goat trees
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Wow! Unless that is a doll's shoe, that is a one big hole! Are you sure it isn't dogs? Ours can dig halfway to China when they take a mind to. Whatever it is, it's got good claws and a persistent need to dig. Maybe you could set up a blind and watch for it. Might prove interesting!
 
Stuart Smith
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Location: Tuscany, Italy
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That's a UK size 10 shoe!

It's certainly bot our dog, he can't get there, fenced in and the only other dog we can hear is One km away in the village, also fenced in so I'm not convinced it's a dog at all, unless that is wolves dig like this?

What do you mean by a 'blind'Deb?
 
Deb Stephens
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Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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A blind is just a camouflaged tent-like thing that you set up near whatever it is you want to get close to. Then get into it early -- or whenever whatever is doing that isn't around -- and wait. It might take letting it set empty for a few days to let wildlife get used to its being there first -- so they get over any nervousness and start to see it as part of the landscape. When you do go inside to watch, try to wear unscented clothing and nothing on your body like deodorant, perfume, shampoo, etc. or whatever it is that's making the holes may scent you and stay away. By the way, you don't have to buy a professional blind. Even a large cardboard box big enough to get into, or a dark-colored sheet or blanket over a table (you get under it) would work. Its a great way to get wildlife photos too!

Forgot to mention that you need to incorporate a peep hole or two from the start. If you move the sheet or whatever to get a peek while the animal is there, it will run away before you get a look, then take forever to feel secure again.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Hard to tell for sure, I'm not seeing the claw marks in the dirt, not a typical dig pattern for badger but does look like it could be pigs rooting for grubs or tubers.
 
Galadriel Freden
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As far as I'm concerned, a hole is a hole; I'm no expert. But it looks about the size of the holes the foxes were digging last time I was in London. We don't get foxes out here in the country
 
Bryant RedHawk
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From the pattern and the few scrapes that are barely visible on the leading edge, it looks like a fox dig. Badgers will tend to keep the dirt pile very neat and compact, not as spread out as that photo show. Rooting hogs or pigs would have left trampled plants.
If it was a wolf, it would look more like a Badger hole.
 
Stuart Smith
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Location: Tuscany, Italy
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Well it would seem that fox is the most likely answer after all the debate as we woke up to two dead geese yesterday
 
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