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. Though in some species such as ferret-badgers, this is not as prominent despite the fact that they still exhibit digging behavior. Badgers are 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.

(1) Asian Badger (Meles leucurus)

Photo by Zoosnow

The Asian badger is the smallest of the three Meles species, and also known as the sand badger. It is superficially very similar looking to the European badger, with stocky limbs used for digging and a bulkier body compared to sleeker members of the mustelid family. However, they exhibit an overall lighter colouration and differences in the facial markings, with the facial stripes going over the ears instead of joining up with the ear like the European badger. 

The Asian badger is found ranging through areas of eastern Europe and Asia; being found in temperate regions such as forests, but they can also be found in mountainous regions, semi-deserts and tundra habitats. They are generally a nocturnal species, living in communal setts made up of family groups with some solitary individuals in areas with food scarcity. 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.

Asian badgers are thought to have similar life expectancy to the European badger, averaging around 5 to 8 years with some individuals reaching up to 15 years in more exceptional cases.
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. Thankfully however their population numbers do not appear to have been affected too detrimentally by this.

Size: 50-70 cm / 20-28 in (males)
Weight: 3.5-9 kg / 7.7-19.8 lb (males)
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Range: Southern portions of Russia and east of the Urals, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and Korea.
Conservation Status: Least Concern

(2) European Badger (Meles meles)

Photo by Kallerna

The European badger also known as the Eurasian badger or simply badger, is native to almost all of Europe and some parts of West Asia. Several subspecies are recognized; the nominate subspecies predominates over most of Europe.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.

(3) Japanese Badger (Meles anakuma)

Photo by Nzrst1jx

The Japanese badger is endemic to Japan. It is found on Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Shodoshima. It shares the genus Meles with the Asian and European badgers. In Japan it is called by the name nihonanaguma, lit. “Japan hole-bear”.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.


Although the following are called ‘badgers’, they are not closely related to the badger species above.

(4) American Badger (Taxidea taxus) – Genus Taxidea

Photo by Yathin S Krishnappa

The American badger is a stocky mustelid known for their intimidating defensive displays and fearlessness, but also for their secretive nature. Short legs and broad bodies would suggest a link to other badger species such as the European badger, however the two are not closely related with the two species belonging to separate genus. 

This species can be found across North America, ranging from northern Mexico, through the United States and up into south central Canada. Their habitat of choice are mainly open prairies where sandy soils make it easier to dig burrows and dig out their prey, which consists of small burrowing animals such as ground squirrels, rats, gophers and other small animals. These badgers can also be found supplementing their diets with plant foods such as corn, green beans and mushrooms.

American badgers live a predominantly nocturnal life which some exceptions in particularly remote areas. The biggest threats to the american badger currently is the conversion of their natural habitat into intensive agriculture, vehicle collisions and prosecution of their prey species.

Size: 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: 10 years
Range: Western and central United States, northern Mexico, and south-central Canada.
Conservation Status: Least Concern

(5) Hog Badger (Arctonyx collaris) – Genus Arctonyx

Photo by Rushenb

The hog badger, also known as greater hog badger, is a terrestrial mustelid native to Central and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because the global population is thought to be declining due to high levels of poaching.

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.

(6) Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) – Genus Mellivora

Photo by Aleutia

The honey badger, also known as the ratel, is the only species in the mustelid subfamily Mellivorinae and its only genus Mellivora. It is native to Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

– Source from Wikipedia. The information above needs to be edited with our own words.



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