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Badger: Fierce, Neat And Proud



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Animals Eurasian Badger Photo By BadgerHero Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Published on December 2nd, 2009 | by Yellow Magpie

1

Badger: Fierce, Neat And Proud

Eurasian Badger Photo By BadgerHero Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

King of the woodlands, master of the prairies, an unlikely black and white animal is dominant over its domain. Yet to look at one you would be forgiven thinking otherwise.

Badgers are the supreme builders of the woodlands. Highly caring and social, they have a fierce defensive streak which they will unleash if they are provoked.

Eurasian Badger Photo By Peter Trimming

Eurasian Badger Photo By Peter Trimming

Tidy Sett Keepers

Badgers are cleanly and fastidious housekeepers. They live underground in burrowed shelters called setts and can be both solitary and gregarious. The gregarious kind form clans which vary in numbers from two to a dozen or more.

Their setts consists of multiple entrances and their bedding of straw is changed on a regular basis. Some setts can be on a massive scales with over 50 entrances and 30 or more chambers.

Generally, setts are home to a group of 25 to 30 individuals. Perhaps the reason why the clan are so fussy about their home is that they spend most of their time there.

Entrance To A Badger Sett Photo By Ciaran Gultnieks Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Entrance To A Badger Sett Photo By Ciaran Gultnieks Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Fierce and Fast

Badger’s prominent white strip is thought to be an indicator of their defensive strength. It indicates to animals and potential predators that the badger is an animal that will defend itself. Not timid creatures by any stretch of the imagination, they have been known to successful fight off much larger animals such as bears and lions.

Despite the squat body, badgers are deceptively quick. Capable of running in short bursts of up to 30 kilometres per hour (18 MPH), they can be surprisingly nimble animals.

Varied Diet

The badgers diet various greatly depending on the species. For instance, the Eurasian badger feeds mainly on insects such as earthworms as well as small mammals, plants and cereals while the American Badger eats mostly small rodents.

The Honey badger, however, is in a class of its own.It will virtually eat anything. From bee larvae to King Cobras, it has a reputation for being fearless mainly due to its willingness to consume prey that other animals do well to leave alone.

Scented Communication

In pitch-black setts, eyesight is made redundant. Instead badgers really on their acute sense of smell to communicate with other members of the clan. Glands under their tails produce a strong odour. Each animal has its own unique scent with which it can be identified. Even clans have their own scents. If an individual spends too much time away from the clan, it runs the risk of being rejected and cast of out the sett upon returning.

American Badger Photo By Jonathunder Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

American Badger Photo By Jonathunder Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

High Mortality Rate

Badgers have an extremely high mortality rate. Just over half the cubs will survive their first year. Even adults die prematurely and only a handful of actually manage to die of old age. Most of the European badgers are killed by vehicles.

Badgers’ Relationship With People

Badger-baiting was once a big bloodsport. However, most of these animals enjoy statutory protection from being hunted or killed. Russia and China are among the few countries where these creatures are still eaten.

In China, where populations are out of control, the animal’s hair is sold commercially to make shaving and paint brushes. The animals must be killed in order to produce the brushes.

Honey Badger Photo By Matěj Baťha Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Honey Badger Photo By Matěj Baťha Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Vital Statistics

  • Badgers are up to 90 cm (three feet) in length.
  • They can weigh over 12 kg (28 lbs).
  • Badgers are found in North America, Africa and Asia.
  • Members of the Mustelid family, they are related to otters and weasel and can live for over 15 years.


Further Reading

Badgers is the most comprehensive book available on badgers. It combines over 80 years of detailed study and shares some remarkable insights into badger behaviour.

Amazon.co.uk
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom you can access Badgers here:

Amazon.ca
For those living in Canada you can obtain Badgers from here.

Amazon.de
For Germany: Badgers.

Amazon.fr
For France: Badgers.


About the Author



One Response to Badger: Fierce, Neat And Proud

  1. bookie boi says:

    i need a badger in my house right now

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