Where do badgers live – Badger is an omnivorous social mammal. It belongs to the family Mustelidae, which also includes ferrets, otters, weasels and wolverines. There are 3 different subspecies of badgers: Meles Meles meles (Western Europe), Meles meles marianensis (Spain and Portugal) and Meles meles leptorynchus (Russia).
The appearance of a badger
Badgers have an elongated head with a black-and-white muzzle that looks like a raccoon’s muzzle, small eyes and ears. The fur is grayish, with black and white areas at the bottom. The body is squat, with short legs. Growth of a badger can reach one meter in length, and weight from 9 to 11 kg.
Habitat of Badger
They live in North America, Ireland, Great Britain and most of Europe. They are found in Japan, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Badger can also be found in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Desert, India and Turkmenistan. European badgers are found on the British Isles, in Europe and in Scandinavia. Their range extends west to the Volga. West of the Volga, Asian badgers are common. They are most often studied as one group and are referred to in the scientific press simply as Eurasian badgers.
Eurasian badgers prefer deciduous forests with glades or open pastures with small groups of trees. They are also found in mixed and coniferous forests, shrubs, suburban areas and city parks. Various subspecies of badgers live in the mountains, on plains, and even in semi-deserts. Territories vary, depending on the availability of food, therefore, at present, there is no accurate estimate of their quantity.
Habits and Behavior of Badgers
Eurasian badgers live in territorial, mixed by gender social colonies, each of which has a common hole. The word “badger” is said to come from the French “bêcheur” and means “digger”. Badgers are really fantastic diggers.
They build holes in well-drained soils, where it is easier to dig. The settlement can consist from 6 to 20 individuals and consists of several males, females and young. The length of the tunnels, located at a depth of less than a meter from the surface of the earth, can reach 305 m. Animals often build large chambers where they sleep or care for babies. The area of the territory is from 8 to 10 square meters. km, depending on the availability of food. Despite the fact that there may be several families on the same territory, the main settlement is always the largest.
These animals are incredibly clean: keep the house clean, regularly do the cleaning, pulling out on the street old hay, grass and other garbage to prevent the appearance of fleas and lice. They never defecate where they live. To do this, they have communal toilets in the form of shallow pits located far from the dwelling, almost at the edge of the territory.
They tend to be nocturnal and spend most of the daytime hiding in sets.
Badgers feed on food alone, even when included in a social group and never bring it to the home. They can run quite quickly over short distances at a speed of 30km per hour.
Mostly animals eat earthworms, eating them several hundred per night, also love insects, bells, acorns, oats, and wheat. Near the holes, usually grow fruits and berries, which badgers begin to eat after rotting and this makes them drunk. Thanks to very thick skin and long claws, they can kill and eat hedgehogs! They also eat young rabbits, mice, rats, voles, moles, frogs, slugs and snails.
Badgers have poor eyesight, but excellent sense of smell and hearing. At night, thanks to these qualities, they can find food by digging up the nests of rabbits and collecting larvae.
By the end of the summer badgers begin to gain weight to maintain the body during the winter sleep. During this period, they become less active, but the body temperature does not decrease, as during full hibernation.
Reproduction and longevity
In January or March, the female produces offspring, giving birth in a burrow from one to five young, which remain with the mother for up to 8 weeks. When the young grow their own food, an adult life begins for him.
On average, a wild badger lives to 10 years, and in captivity to 26.
Enemies and threats – Badgers
Badger as bait was once a popular bloody sport: they were caught, placed alive in boxes and attacked with dogs. In Great Britain, this entertainment was declared illegal in 1835.
During World War II, Europe ate badgers. They were also a regular part of the diet of Native Americans and early settlers in the United States.
Wool European badger for centuries been used for the manufacture of high-quality shaving brushes. At present, the state of conservation of these animals is estimated as: “causing the least concern”. Only badgers in Albania are considered endangered.