American Badger


Last COSEWIC designation: May 2000
SARA risk category: Endangered

Description: The American Badger is a heavy-bodied, short-legged and short-tailed member of the weasel family. The head has a distinctive pattern: the muzzle, crown and back of the neck are dark black-brown with a mid-dorsal stripe that runs from the nose over the top of the head to the shoulders.

Habitat: Open habitats, whether natural (deserts, grasslands, forest clearings, alpine areas) or man-made (agricultural fields, road right-of-ways, golf courses, clearcuts), are generally used. Suitable habitat in British Columbia is limited and fragmented, has significantly decreased in quality (including reduction in ground squirrel numbers) and quantity, and much of the remaining habitat is threatened by urbanization and intense agriculture (orchards).

Threats: Primary limiting factors include habitat fragmentation, an increase in agriculture (annual crop production, conversion of natural habitat to orchards and clearing of residual native vegetation), reduction in prey, control of badgers as nuisance animals, invasion of open habitat by trees and shrubs because of fire suppression, and roadkills.