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Mojave River Valley Museum
Carnivore - Mammal
American BadgerTaxidea taxus
Family: Mustelidae Order: Carnivora Class: Mammalia
DISTRIBUTION, ABUNDANCE, AND SEASONALITY
Uncommon, permanent resident found throughout most of the state, except in the northern North Coast area (Grinnell et al. 1937). Most abundant in drier open stages of most shrub, forest, and herbaceous habitats, with friable soils.SPECIFIC HABITAT REQUIREMENTS
Feeding: Badgers are carnivorous. They eat fossorial
rats, mice, chipmunks,
and especially ground squirrels and pocket gophers. Also eat some
earthworms, eggs, birds, and carrion. Diet shifts seasonally and yearly in response to
availability of prey.
Activity Patterns: Active yearlong. Nocturnal and diurnal. Variable periods of torpor in
winter (Long 1973).
Flower, S. S. 1931. Contributions to our knowledge of the duration of life in vertebrate animals. V. Mammals. Procs. Zool. Soc. London. 1931:145-234.
Grinnell, J., J. S. Dixon, and J. M. Linsdale. 1937. Fur-bearing mammals of California. 2 Vols. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 777pp.
Hall, E. R. 1946. Mammals of Nevada. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 710pp.
Jackson, H. H. T. 1961. Mammals of Wisconsin. Univ. Wisconsin Press, Madison. 504pp.
Lindzey, F. G. 1978. Movement patterns of badgers in northwestern Utah. J. Wildl. Manage. 42:418-422.
Long, C. A. 1973. Taxidea taxus. Mammal. Species. No. 26. 4pp.
Messick, J. P., and M. G. Hornocker. 1981. Ecology of the badger in southwestern Idaho. Wildl. Monogr. No.76. 53pp.
Newberry, D. W. 1973a. A contribution towards a bibliography of California furbearers. Calif. Dept. Fish and Game, Spec. Wildl. Invest., Sacramento. 148pp.
Seton, E. T. 1929. Lives of game animals. 4 vols. Doubleday and Co., Garden City, NY. 3115pp.
Seymour, G. 1968. Furbearers of California. Calif. Dep. Fish and Game, Sacramento. 55pp.
Williams, D. F. 1986. Mammalian species of special concern in California. Calif. Dept. Fish and Game, Sacramento. Admin. Rep. 86-1. 112pp.
California Department of Fish and Game. California Interagency Wildlife Task Group. 2005. California Wildlife Habitat Relationships version 8.1 personal computer program. Sacramento, California.
Taxidea taxus jeffersoni
Badgers are nocturnal, but have been seen active during the day as well. Badgers commonly feed on mice, woodrats, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and pocket gophers. They also will eat fish, snakes and lizards.
Badgers enlarge and dig out burrows in pursuit of prey. Badgers have been observed to plug accessory entrances to burrow systems, presumably to trap prey within the burrow. They also dig into a burrow from the "back entrance" and then lurk in the main entrance, capturing prey as it enters the burrow.
The badger is an aggressive animal and has few natural enemies. There are reports of predation on badgers by golden eagle, coyote, cougar, and bobcat.
Wide open plains and deciduous woodlands are the principal habitats occupied by the American badger, but across its range a wide variety of habitats are utilized, and the species can also be found in mountainous areas marshy areas, prairies and deserts.
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