Classification: Non-game Wildlife Species
Status: Sporadic and limited importance to the fur market.
Abundant: Unprotected predator.
Identifying Characteristics: Remarkably adapted morphologically for burrowing and feeding on burrowing prey. A stout, compact, heavy-bodied animal built low to the ground, with partially webbed toes and long claws to aid in digging. It is the only true fossorial carnivore in North America and thus unique in appearance. A yellowish-gray mammal with a white stripe over the top of its head, white cheeks, black feet, and a black spot in front of each ear. The belly and short tail are yellowish. Pelage is composed of underfur with longer guard hairs. Because of their shaggy coat and short stature, badgers appear to flow along the ground.
Total length: 22 to 28 inches. Weight: 13 to 25 pounds.
Habitat: Prefers open grasslands, shrub/grasslands, and deserts. Non-forested habitats with soils suitable for burrowing and support of fossorial prey are favored.
Food Habits: Very efficient predator of fossorial and semifossorial prey. However, an opportunistic feeder and supplements its diet with a variety of mammals, birds, eggs, reptiles, amphibians, and plants.
Life History: Mostly nocturnal, but also active during the day. Efficient digger, digs out small rodents. Dens in burrows of its own making. Breeds from May through August; delayed implantation; young born February to May; litter size ranges from one to four.
Badgers are well known for their digging habits and nasty dispositions when they are forced to defend themselves. An important predator of gophers and prairie dogs, they favor prairies, open farmlands and deserts. Numerous excavations make badgers unpopular with some farmers and ranchers. Viewed with either affection or disgust, badgers are expanding their ranges eastwardly.