Weasels, Skunks & Allies (Mustelidae)
Measurement: Size: 70-75 cm Weight: 7-10 kg
Description: Badgers don't look like any other animal. They have evolved a unique structure that makes them expert diggers. They have a squat body that barely rises above the ground, and a grizzled brown-gray coat. They are lighter on the underside. Their face is dark with a median white stripe and white patches on each cheek. The ears also may be white around the margin.
They are found throughout the western United States, and in pockets on the Canadian plains and along the margin of the Rockies. While it is not common in the mountains, it is not uncommon to encounter badgers along the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. They are more commonly seen south of the Crowsnest Pass, and into the American plains.
Badgers are built for digging, and can excavate a ground squirrel colony at an incredible pace. They may plug all the exits of the colony before digging out the sole remaining entrance, thus trapping the ground squirrels. They hunt at night and besides ground squirrels, marmots, and pocket gophers, they will also eat other small mammals, birds, amphibians and carrion.
They mate in the August or September, with implantation delayed until the winter. They give birth to between 2 and 5 young in April or May of the following year.
Notes: Badgers hibernate during the winter, retreating to their dens until the warmth of spring. In many areas they have been persecuted both directly and indirectly. Farmers and ranchers have often hunted them down their intense digging can damage farmland. On the other hand, the farmers have also poisoned and shot the ground squirrels upon which the badger relies for its survival. As a result, badgers are very rare through many parts of their range.
a guide to help you spot some
All Material © Ward Cameron 2005