Badgers

Badgers are sturdy, strongly built mustelids which are primarily found in the Northern Hemisphere, but also have species populating South Africa and Indonesia. All extant species live in burrows called setts, though their usage differs between species with some living in family groups and others living predominantly solitary lives.

Badger species often have strong forelimbs suited for digging, with long curved claws ideal for breaking up dirt. They are predominantly nocturnal, and come out during the night to feed on a variety of different food sources, such as worms, grubs, small mammals, reptiles and birds; also feeding on berries, roots and fruit.

One feature that is found in all species of badger is distinct facial markings—darker colours contrasting with light. This is the feature which gave rise to a now old-fashioned name for badgers—Bauson, which is a variation on the word Bausond, which refers to piebald markings, whilst also being used to describe a badger’s face.

Table of Contents

(1) Asian Badger (Meles leucurus)

Photo by David Blank

The Asian badger, also known as the sand badger, is a species native throughout Asia and eastern Europe.

Appearance

Asian badgers are the smallest of the three Meles species. They are superficially similar looking to the Eurasian badger, but exhibit an overall lighter, grayish-silver colouration. Their facial markings also differ slightly, with brown to black facial stripes going over the ears instead of joining up with the ear like the Eurasian badger. Asian badgers from Mongolia tend to have a lighter coat, while those from the Amur region are noticeably darker in colour.(1)(2)

Habitat

The Asian badger prefers temperate regions such as forests, but they can also be found in mountainous regions, semi-deserts and tundra habitats.(3)

Behaviour

Asian badgers are generally a nocturnal species, living in communal setts made up of family groups with some solitary individuals in areas with food scarcity.(4)(5) They tend to hibernate in family groups; with the adults sharing dens with cubs born during the previous year. Yearlings and older single badgers will occupy individual dens.(3)

Reproduction

M. leucurus can mate year-around. Likewise, fertilization can occur at any time, with cubs primarily being born between mid-January and mid-March. Asian badgers experience a prolonged period of delayed implantation; a reproductive strategy shared by most mustelids.(6)(7)

Diet

The species feeds on a large variety of small animals such as insects, worms, reptiles, amphibians and birds whilst also feeding on plant material, nuts and berries.(8)

Predators

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Relationship with humans

Unfortunately these badgers do come into conflict with humans, and there is evidence of them preying on livestock and damaging vineyards, which can lead them to being hunted in some of their territories.(3) Thankfully, their population numbers do not appear to have been affected too detrimentally by this.

Range map

Body length: 50–70 cm / 20–28 in (males)
Weight: 3.5–9 kg / 7.7–19.8 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild), unknown (captivity)
Range: Southern portions of Russia and east of the Urals, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and Korea.
Conservation status: Least concern
Recognised subspecies(7)

  1. M. l. amurensis
  2. M. l. arenarius
  3. M. l. leucurus
  4. M. l. sibiricus
  5. M. l. tianschanensis
References

  1. Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1251
  2. Wilson, Don E., and Russell A. Mittermeier. “Handbook of the mammals of the world. Vol. 1. Carnivores.” Lynx Edicions, Barcelona 1 (2009).
  3. Ognev, S. 1962. Mammals of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Jerusalem: Published by the National Science Foundation, Washington D.C., by the Israel Program for Scientific Translations.
  4. Heptner, V., N. Naumov. 1967. Mammals of the Soviet Union. Moscow: Vysshaya Shkola Publishers.
  5. Wilson, D., R. Mittermeier. 2009. Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
  6. Oldham, C. 2014. “Meles leucurus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed September 09, 2020
  7. Mead, R. A. “Delayed implantation in mustelids, with special emphasis on the spotted skunk.” Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement 29 (1981): 11-24.
  8. Murdoch, J., S. Buyandelger. 2010. An account of badger diet in an arid steppe region of Mongolia. Journal of Arid Environments, 74: 1348-1350.
  9. Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). “Order Carnivora”. In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.

(2) Eurasian Badger (Meles meles)

Photo by Kallerna

The Eurasian badger, also known as the Eurasian badger, or simply badger, is a species which inhabits a wide range across Europe, with populations that also extends across parts of western Asia.(1)

Appearance

Eurasian badgers are bulky, heavily built animals who spend a lot of time in and around the setts they create. With strong forelimbs and long curved claws adept for digging and maintaining setts. These badgers are easy to identify with their pale faces coupled with striking black markings running from their nose, across their eyes and ending behind each ear.(2) Their hind feet are plantigrade and their hind claws wear short as they age.(3) They also have flexible robust snouts used for probing and digging which aids in their search for food.(4)

Habitat

The Eurasian badger is found in a wide range of different environments, such as woodlands, grasslands, hedges, riversides and agricultural land; as well as steppes and semi-deserts in some regions.(7) Their territorial ranges vary in size and are greatly dependent on food availability, as well as the size and quality of the sett. In optimal conditions, the size of these territories can be as small as 30 hectares (74 acres), to as large as 150 hectares (371 acres).(8) The presence of communal latrines and well-worn paths are key signs of a Eurasian badger’s territory.(9)

Behaviour

The Eurasian badger has been described as the most social of badgers,(5) forming groups of six adults on average. Although they are sociable and generally tolerant of other badgers both in and outside their group, males will occasionally have territorial aggression; with sparring occurring during the breeding season. Boars (males) tend to mark their territories more than sows (females), with their territorial activity increasing during the mating season in early spring.(6)

They emit deep growls when threatened, and make low kekkering noises when fighting. They bark when surprised, and whicker when playing or in distress.(6)

Reproduction

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Diet

The Eurasian badger’s diet is omnivorous and highly adaptable and dependent on what is available. Earthworms seem to be a staple of their diet, but they also consume insects, carrion, fruit and small mammals. They are also known to attack wasp nests—consuming the wasps along with their nest structures while being protected with their dense coarse fur and thick skin.(8)

If food is scarce, the Eurasian badger will often cover larger distances in search of food, and can come into conflict with other badger groups competing over food sources.(10)

Predators

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Badger culling

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Interactions with other animals

While it would seem most Eurasian badgers stick to interacting with their family groups, there are cases of badgers living alongside foxes in their setts, with even accounts of foxes sharing food scraps with the badgers. This however is not always the case as foxes and badgers can come into conflict as well over food sources.(9)

Animals which predate these badgers include species such as grey wolves, Eurasian lynxes and brown bears.(11) Golden eagles have also been seen to prey upon young badgers given the opportunity.(12)

In media

Eurasian badgers are by far the most common badger species found in literature, as well as other types of media such as video games, animation and live-action films.

Range map

Body length: 60–90 cm / 24–35 in (males)
Tail length: 12–24 cm / 4.7–9.4 in (males)
Weight: 7–13 kg / 15–29 lb (males in summer), 15–17 kg / 33–37 lb (males in autumn)(13)
Lifespan: Up to 14 years (wild), up to 19 years (captivity)
Range: Europe and western Asia.
Conservation status: Least concern
Recognised subspecies(14)

  1. M. m. arcalus
  2. M. m. canescens
  3. M. m. heptneri
  4. M. m. marianensis
  5. M. m. meles
  6. M. m. milleri
  7. M. m. rhodius
  8. M. m. severzovi
References

  1. Kranz, A.; Abramov, A. V.; Herrero, J. & Maran, T. (2016). “Meles meles”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T29673A45203002.
  2. “Physical Description” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_meles/
  3. Raichev, E. (2010). “Adaptability to locomotion in snow conditions of fox, gackal, wild cat, badger in the region of Sredna Gora, Bulgaria”. Trakia Journal of Sciences. 8 (2): 499–505.
  4. Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1234–12
  5. Macdonald, David W. The new encyclopedia of mammals. 2001.
  6. Harris, Stephen, and Derek William Yalden Yalden, eds. Mammals of the British Isles: handbook. Mammal society, 2008.
  7. “Habitat” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_meles/
  8. Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1234–1237
  9. Dale, Thomas Francis, The fox, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1906
  10. “Home Range” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_meles/
  11. Sidorovich, V. E., Rotenko, I. I., & Krasko, D. A. (2011, March). Badger Meles meles spatial structure and diet in an area of low earthworm biomass and high predation risk. In Annales Zoologici Fennici (Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 1–16). Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing.
  12. Watson, J. (2010). The golden eagle. Poyser Monographs; A&C Black.
  13. Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1241–1242
  14. Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. (Editors) 2005. Meles meles in Mammal Species of the World. – A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference.

(3) Hog Badger (Arctonyx collaris)

Photo by David Cook

The hog badger, also known as the greater hog badger, is a terrestrial mustelid native to southeast Asia, starting from Sikkim and northeastern China to Thailand.

Appearance

At first glance, hog badgers may look similar to Eurasian badgers, but they are generally smaller, have larger front claws, and a pig-like snout that’s pink in colour, rather than black or grey. Another distinguishing characteristic is that they have light-coloured claws, as opposed to the dark claws associated with Eurasian badgers. They also have modified teeth which point forward that are specifically used for turning over soil. Their fur is medium in length, and ranges from dark grey to brown in colour, with a tail that ranges from white to pale yellow. Hog badgers have two black stripes on a white face, with a white throat and stocky body.(1)(2)

Habitat

Hog badgers dwell in grasslands, hills, mountains, tropical rainforests, tropical evergreen, and semi-evergreen forests.(1)

Behaviour

They are solitary animals that are described as diurnal, ground-dwelling and not prone to shyness.(3) Using their long claws, incisors, and canine teeth of their lower jaws, they will burrow into the ground in search of food or create a habitat.

Reproduction

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Diet

Hog badgers are omnivorous, and depending on what’s available, their diet can consist of worms, fruits, roots, tubers and small animals.(1)(2)

Predators

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Threats

Tigers and leopards are the only known natural predators of the hog badger. To escape danger when threatened, they can use their large claws to burrow out of sight.(1) Other threats include being heavily hunted in some areas for either food purposes or trade. This has contributed to their decreasing numbers.(3) Hog badgers are protected animals in Thailand and India.(4)

Range map

Body length: 55–70 cm / 22–28 in (males)
Tail length: 12–17 cm / 4.7–6.7 in (males)
Weight: 7–14 kg / 15–31 lb (males)
Lifespan: Unknown (wild) up to 15 years (captivity)
Range: Central and Southeast Asia.
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Recognised subspecies(5)

  1. A. c. collaris
  2. A. c. albogularis
  3. A. c. consul
  4. A. c. dictator
  5. A. c. hoevenii
  6. A. c. leucolaemus
References

  1. Edmunds, T. 2003. “Encyclopedia of Life” (On-line). Arctonyx collaris. Accessed 18 March, 2020 at http://eol.org/pages/328030/details.
  2. Baker, N. 2012. “Ecology Asia” (On-line). Mammals of Southeast Asia: Hog Badger. Accessed 18 March, 2020 at http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/mammals/hog-badger.htm.
  3. Duckworth, J.W., Timmins, R., Chutipong, W., Gray, T.N.E., Long, B., Helgen, K., Rahman, H., Choudhury, A. & Willcox, D.H.A. 2016. Arctonyx collaris The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T70205537A45209459. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T70205537A45209459.en. Downloaded on 18 March 2020.
  4. Timmins, R., B. Long, J. Duckworth, W. Ying-Xiang, T. Zaw. 2008. “Encyclopedia of Life” (On-line). Arctonyx collaris. Accessed 18 March, 2020 at http://eol.org/pages/328030/details.
  5. Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. (Editors) 2005. Arctonyx collaris in Mammal Species of the World. – A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference.

(4) Japanese Badger (Meles anakuma)

Photo by Nzrst1jx

The Japanese badger, known in Japanese as anaguma (穴熊) which means “hole-bear”, is a species of badger unique to Japan. This species is found in Honshū, Kyūshū, Shikoku and Shōdoshima, notably being absent from Hokkaidō.(1)

Appearance

Japanese badgers are physically similar to Eurasian badgers with exception to their pelt color, with their dark brown fur and their pale faces contrasting with dark eye markings. This badger’s eye markings in particular are unique as they fade off before they reach the snout or ears, giving them a panda-like appearance.(2)

Habitat

The habitats of the Japanese badger consists of deciduous woods, mixed woodland and copses. This species of badger is also sometimes found in suburban areas as well as agricultural land. Hills and slopes are a preferred habitat for their dens, as gravity can aid in the digging of setts and increased drainage can help prevent setts from flooding.(5)

Behaviour

Japanese badger social behaviour differs from the Eurasian badger in that they live predominantly solitary lives, with males only interacting with females to mate and play no role in rearing the young.(3) They do however still have nocturnal habits, staying underground in lone setts during the day and coming out to forage at night. These badgers can have many setts within their territories, males tending to have 32 to 71 and females having 20 to 41. They mark these setts with subcaudal gland secretions to mark their territory.(4)

Reproduction

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Diet

The Japanese badger primarily feeds on earthworms, but will also consume berries and beetles in the summer months. Within a Tōkyō suburb called Hinode, badgers are also known to switch from eating earthworms to eating persimmons (a type of fruit) during the autumn.(3)

Predators

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Threats

The main threat to this species is habitat loss as land is claimed for agriculture and land development, causing the badger population to drop. There are also other issues such as introduced raccoons which compete with badgers for resources,(3) and recent culling encouraged by the Japanese government.(6)

Range map

Body length: 79 cm / 31 in (males), 72 cm / 28 in (females)
Tail length: 14–20 cm / 5.5–7.9 in (males)
Weight: 3.8–11 kg / 8.4–24.3 lb (adults)
Lifespan: Up to 10 years (wild), up to 19 years (captivity)
Range: Endemic to Japan, and is found on Honshū, Kyūshū, Shikoku and Shōdoshima.
Conservation status: Least concern
References

  1. “Geographical Range” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_anakuma/
  2. “Physical Description” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_anakuma/
  3. Kaneko, Y.; Masuda, R.; Abramov, A.V. (2016). “Meles anakuma”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T136242A45221049. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T136242A45221049.en
  4. “Behavior” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_anakuma/
  5. “Habitat” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Meles_anakuma/
  6. Hornyak, T. (2017-06-09). “Ecologists warn of Japanese badger cull ‘crisis'”. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22131.

(5) American Badger (Taxidea taxus)
This species shares the common name “badger”, but is not directly related to other species on this page.

Photo by Yathin S Krishnappa

The American badger is found primarily in the Great Plains region of North America. They are stocky mustelids known for their intimidating defensive displays and fearlessness, but also for their secretive nature.(1)

Appearance

The American badger’s short legs and broad bodies would suggest a link to other badger species such as the Eurasian badger, however the two are not closely related with the two species belonging to separate genus.(2)American badgers have grizzled, brown, black and white fur; having a nearly brown-tan appearance. They have black and white patches on their face, including brown to black markings on the cheeks known as “badges”. The throat and chin are whitish, and a white dorsal stripe extends from the nose to the base of the head. In the subspecies T. t. berlandieri, the white dorsal stripe extends the full length of the body to the rump.(3)

Habitat

Their habitat of choice are mainly open prairies where sandy soils make it easier to dig burrows and dig out their prey.(7)

Behaviour

The American badger is a solitary species, and tend to only interact during their breeding season to seek out mates. They are predominantly nocturnal, with some exceptions in particularly remote areas. At high elevations and latitudes, they are torpid during winter, but are not true hibernators. They tend to spend the winter in cycles of torpor, which usually last about 29 hours.(4)

They are skilled diggers, and can tunnel rapidly through soil. They use their powerful forelimbs to break the soil and push the debris behind or to the sides of its body.(5) Their burrows are used as dens for sleeping, to escape from predators, and for the pursuit of prey. These dens can be as far as 3 meters below the surface, and contain about 10 meters of tunnels, with an enlarged chamber for sleeping. American badgers may not use the same burrow more than once a month, and in the summer, they may dig a new burrow each day.(6)

Reproduction

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Diet

The menu consists of small burrowing animals such as ground squirrels, rats, gophers and other small animals.(8) American badgers can also be found supplementing their diets with plant foods such as corn, green beans and mushrooms.(9)

Predators

Golden eagles, coyotes, bobcats, bears, and gray wolves will occasionally kill American badgers, with cougars being the main predators of adults.

Hunting associations between American badgers and coyotes

American badgers and coyotes have been known to hunt prairie dogs and ground-squirrels in tandem. Studies have shown this unusual relationship is beneficial for both species—the coyote will chase down prey that runs from the badger, and the badger will dig after prey if it heads underground to escape the coyote. Typically this pairing is one badger to one coyote, however, one study found about 9% of sightings included two coyotes to one badger, while 1% had one badger to three coyotes.(11)(12)(13)(14)

Threats

Currently the biggest threats to the American badger is the conversion of their natural habitat into intensive agriculture, vehicle collisions and prosecution of their prey species.(10)

Range map

Body length: 60–75 cm / 23.5–29.5 in (males)
Weight: 6–11 kg / 14–25 lb (males), 6–7 kg / 14–16 lb (females)
Lifespan: Up to 14 years (wild), up to 26 years (captivity)
Range: Western and central United States, northern Mexico, and south-central Canada.
Conservation status: Least concern
Recognised subspecies(15)

  1. T. t. berladieri
  2. T. t. jacksoni
  3. T. t. jeffersonii
  4. T. t. marylandica
  5. T. t. taxus
References

  1. “What does it look like?” http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-we-do/resource-centre/featured-species/mammals/american_badger.html
  2. Law, C. J.; Slater, G. J.; Mehta, R. S. (2018-01-01). “Lineage Diversity and Size Disparity in Musteloidea: Testing Patterns of Adaptive Radiation Using Molecular and Fossil-Based Methods”. Systematic Biology. 67 (1): 127–144. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syx047
  3. American Society of Mammalogists Staff; Smithsonian Institution Staff (1999). The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. UBC Press. p. 179.
  4. Long, Charles A. (1972). Taxidea taxus (PDF)Journal of Mammalogy26 (26): 1–4. doi:10.2307/3504047. JSTOR 3504047Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  5. Moore, Alexis L., et al. “Architectural specialization of the intrinsic thoracic limb musculature of the American badger (Taxidea taxus).” Journal of Morphology 274.1 (2013): 35-48.
  6. Shefferly, N. 1999. “Taxidea taxus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed July 22, 2020.
  7. “Habitat” https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/americanbadger.htm
  8. “Diet” https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/americanbadger.htm
  9. “Food Habits” https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Taxidea_taxus/
  10. “Threats to their safety and wellbeing” http://www.wildlifelandtrust.org/wildlife/close-ups/american-badger.html
  11. “Spotted! A Coyote and Badger Hunting Together”fws.gov.
  12. “Why coyotes and badgers hunt together”. treehugger.com.
  13. Minta, Steven C., et al. “Hunting Associations between Badgers (Taxidea Taxus) and Coyotes (Canis Latrans).” Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 73, no. 4, 1992, pp. 814–820. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1382201. Accessed 28 April 2020.
  14. “Video shows coyote and badger on a mission together” https://youtu.be/6RC_6teBS6o CBS News YouTube. Retrieved 02-09-2020.
  15. Long, Charles A. “Taxidea taxus.” Mammalian Species 26 (1973): 1-4.

(6) Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis)
This species shares the common name “badger”, but is not directly related to other species on this page.

Photo by Aleutia

The honey badger, also known as the ratel, is a terrestrial animal that is widely distributed in Africa, southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Appearance

Though the colour varies slightly by subspecies, generally the lower half of their bodies are dark black, with lighter shades of fur above that are either grey or white. The lighter fur colouring extends from the forehead to the base of the tail.(1) Honey badgers have very thick and loose skin, which gives them an advantage over their predators, by enabling them to easily escape another animal’s grasp.(2)

Habitat

The honey badger is known to occupy elevations ranging from sea level to 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) above sea level in the Moroccan High Atlas, and 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) in Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains. Their habitats include tropical and subtropical green forests, thorn forests, open woodlands, riparian forests or grasslands, arid steppes, rocky hills, and deserts.(3)(4) They are generally not found in the driest portions of the Sahara Desert or the chaparral areas around the Mediterranean Sea. They prefer habitats with burrows, rock crevices, or other areas where they can seek shelter.(5)

Behaviour

Honey badgers are nomadic and mostly solitary, but have been seen hunting in pairs. They are known for their strength and boldness, and will attack almost any other species when they are cornered; including much larger predators such as lions and hyenas.(6) The honey badger was supposedly listed as the “world’s most fearless animal” in a 2002 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, but there is no reliable evidence found online supporting this claim.

Their large, powerful claws give them the ability to be skilled diggers, and capable of digging tunnels into hard ground in 10 minutes. Their burrows usually have only one entry, and are around 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft) long.(7)

Reproduction

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Diet

Honey badgers are opportunistic foragers, and eat a variety of smaller food items such as small rodents, snakes, birds, frogs, insect larvae, beetles, scorpions and lizards. They will occasionally catch larger animals like crocodiles, pythons, springhares, polecats; including juvenile foxes, jackals, antelope and wild cats.(3) Honey badgers are also known to eat fruit, roots, and bulbs.(2)(4) True to their namesake, honey badgers are partial to bee hives. They are known for damaging commercial hives by breaking into the hives and eating the honey. They will even consume the bee larvae inside the honey, which results in a monetary loss for beekeepers.(8)

Predators

Due to their thick skin, strength and defensive abilities, the honey badger has few natural predators. However, despite their often overstated ferocity, they are not invincible. Although rare, they can be seriously injured or killed by larger predators such as African leopards, lions, and spotted hyenas.(5)

Baby cheetahs have long, white fur called a mantle that runs from their head down to their back; looking similar to the honey badger. Although the exact reason is inconclusive, some researchers believe this mantle is intended to mimic the honey badger, in order to deter predators.(5)

Honeyguides myth

Contrary to popular belief, there is no persuasive evidence that honeyguides guide honey badgers.(9)(10)(11) It is believed this myth became popular after dishonest wildlife documentary-makers filmed a tamed honey badger interacting with a stuffed honeyguide.(9)(12)

Intelligence

If someone were asked to describe a honey badger, chances are only their “vicious” or “fearless” reputation would come to mind, rather than the fact that they’re one of Africa’s most intelligent animals. Recent studies have shown they are capable of problem solving, and if the solution to a problem has changed, they can adapt to that new solution. They are also one of few animals that have been observed using tools—taking and using objects to stand or climb on to escape captivity, or to reach food that would otherwise be out of their reach.(13)

In media

Stoffel is a rescued honey badger that is kept at the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa. His caretaker, Brian Jones, built Stoffel a cage to keep him out of trouble. However, Stoffel’s incredible escape antics have made him the discussion of the species’ intelligence. Stoffel would dig up rocks and pile them into a corner to reach the top of the wall, when the rocks were removed, he would roll mud balls into a corner to accomplish the same escape. He would also grab rakes, shovels, tyres or any other item he could use to climb out of his cage.(13) A documentary featuring Stoffel was made by the PBS’s Nature TV series, Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem.

Range map

Body length: 60–70 cm / 23.62–27.56 in (males)
Weight: 10–16 kg / 20–35 lb (males), 5–10 kg / 11–22 lb (females)
Lifespan: Up to 8 years (wild), up to 26 years (captivity)
Range: Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
Conservation status: Least concern
Recognised subspecies(14)

  1. M. c. abyssinica
  2. M. c. buechneri
  3. M. c. capensis
  4. M. c. concisa
  5. M. c. cottoni
  6. M. c. inaurita
  7. M. c. indica
  8. M. c. leuconota
  9. M. c. maxwelli
  10. M. c. pumilio
  11. M. c. signata
  12. M. c. wilsoni
References

  1. Vanderhaar, Jana M., and Yeen Ten Hwang. “Mellivora capensis.” Mammalian Species 2003.721 (2003): 1-8.
  2. Rosevear, Donovan Reginald, et al. The carnivores of west Africa. 1974.
  3. Do Linh San, E., et al. “Mellivora capensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e. T41629A45210107.” (2016).
  4. Gupta, Shilpi, et al. “Abundance and habitat suitability model for Ratel (Mellivora capensis) in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Western India.” Wildlife Biology in Practice 8.1 (2012): 13-22.
  5. Hoffman, Z. 2014. “Mellivora capensis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed July 21, 2020
  6. Hunter, Luke. Carnivores of the world. Vol. 117. Princeton University Press, 2019.
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