Badger

Print
Category: Animal Info Pages


The North American badger (Taxidea taxus) is an aggressive, carnivorous animal.  It has few predators, but smaller badgers will sometimes become prey to hungry apex predators like eagles, bears, and wolves.  The American badger has coarse black, brown, and white fur and closely resembles the European badger.  Badgers are genetically related to weasels, otters, ferrets, and wolverines.  They have stocky bodies with short, but very strong legs.  All badgers have large fore-claws used for digging, and a distinctive striped color pattern on their heads.

 

The American badger prefers prairie regions, and their habitat generally  ranges from south-central Canada, the central United States to the west coast, and south through Mexico and South America.  Badgers will choose areas with loose or sandy soil where underground prey like snakes, mice and groundhogs tend to live.  They easily pursue their quarry into their dens, and badgers are even smart enough to use objects to plug their prey's alternate exit burrows.  

 

Badgers are considered one of the most significant factors in controlling rattlesnake populations.  While the badger typically stalks burrowing prey, it is not uncommon for them to eat any small animal unfortunate enough to be discovered.  Badgers will also devour honeycomb, and even some plants like corn, beans, sunflower seeds, and mushrooms.

 

Badgers are mostly nocturnal, but badgers living in remote areas void of humans commonly forage in daytime.  Badgers tend to live in dens previously hollowed by smaller animals like gophers.  Badger dens are typically between 4 and 10 feet deep, and when badgers move on from these dens larger animals will use them.