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Badger

Badger

Badger

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Badger

Photo of badger
Taxidea taxus
Family: 
Mustelidae (weasels) in the order Carnivora
Description: 

Badgers are heavy-bodied, medium-sized mammals with a broad head, short neck, short legs and a short bushy tail. The ears are low and rounded. The claws, generally gray with a slight yellowish tinge, on the front feet are very long. The brown face is marked with a white stripe, white patches and vertical black bars. Males and females look alike, although males are heavier.

Size: 
Total length: 26–35 inches; tail length: 4–7 inches; weight: 13–30 pounds
Habitat and conservation: 
Badgers live in open areas such as grasslands. Management includes regulated trapping season to maintain healthy populations. Badgers may cause considerable damage to hay fields, pastures, levees, pond dams, terraces, golf courses and cemeteries. The WILDLIFE CODE OF MISSOURI allows landowners to use lethal methods to protect personal property from badgers. In Missouri, hunters and trappers may pursue badgers during furbearer season.
Foods: 
Badgers eat rodents such as ground squirrels and mice. They also eat rabbits, insects, lizards, snakes and eggs of birds and turtles.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Sparse across most of the state.
Status: 
According to the Missouri Species and Communities of Conservation Concern Checklist of January 2009, badgers are ranked “Status Uncertain” because of their unknown population numbers and distribution. Badgers are occasionally trapped, but their fur is not valuable, so most trappers do not target them.
Life cycle: 
Badgers have a home range of 1 to 2 1/2 square miles. They dig a series of dens across their home range. They are most active at night. During winter, they become less active, occasionally leaving their burrows to hunt for food. They are excellent diggers and dig faster than their burrowing prey. They can move quickly, up to 15 miles per hour, and are capable swimmers. They mate in late summer and give birth in early spring. The young stay with their mothers through the summer.
Human connections: 
Badgers control rodent pests.
Ecosystem connections: 
Badgers control rodent populations, and their digging activities aerate and mix the soil.
Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/994