The body is squat; legs are short and heavily muscled; and feet large with long, heavy claws. Adult males may reach 11.4 kg in weight and 84 cm in length. The head is small, triangular and flattened, with prominent snout and ears. The long, coarse pelage on the body is silvery yellowish; underparts are paler and feet are black. The head is brown with white crescents on the face. A narrow white stripe runs from muzzle to shoulders.
Badgers inhabit grassland and open woodland of the southern PRAIRIE provinces and BC, extending southward through the prairies and semideserts of the US and northern Mexico. Food is mostly burrowing rodents. The badger is primarily nocturnal, resting by day in extensive burrows, alone if male or with kits if female. Both sexes hibernate.
Mating occurs July-August. After a long period of implantation, the embryo begins to develop and litters (1-4 young) are born March-April. Young are independent in 2-3 months and mature early; females may breed at 5 months, males usually not until 7 months.
Overhunting and predator control have greatly reduced the number of badgers in parts of Canada. See also ENDANGERED ANIMALS.
Author IAN MCTAGGART-COWAN
Links to Other Sites
Natural History Notebooks
View illustrated descriptions of a huge variety of Canadian animal species, prehistoric creatures, and endangered/extinct animals. A Canadian Museum of Nature website.
The North American Badger
A brief article about badger biology and conservation programs in Canada. From the website for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
A Plea to Stop Badgering the Badger
Find out what happens when you bother a badger. From the website for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.