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Habitat Atlas for Wildlife at Risk
Taxidea taxus


  • Weight: 6-14 kg; length: 65-90 cm.
  • Badgers are one of the largest members of the weasel family.
  • Stout, shaggy animals with distinctive black and white facial markings and a short tail.
  • Black fur around the eyes and on the side of the snout, and a triangular black patch, surrounded by white fur on the side of the face; grey to brown body fur with lighter undersides.
  • Maximum lifespan is approximately 14 years.

Habitat map not available.


British Columbia Red List

Special Significance

The Badger is at risk in British Columbia because the amount of suitable habitat is small and has been adversely affected by human activity. Key areas of low elevation grasslands and open pine or fir forests have been lost. The small British Columbia population is vulnerable to regional and provincial extirpation. This burrowing mammal may play an important role controlling rodents that cause pasture or cropland damage. The continued survival of Badger populations in British Columbia requires establishment of protected areas, responsible stewardship of ranges used for cattle grazing, appropriate forest management practices, a reduction in the use of rodenticides and an increased understanding of this interesting animal.


  • In British Columbia, Badgers occur in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, Thompson River, Nicola Valley, and East Kootenay areas; a few Badgers have been noted in the South Cariboo, West Kootenay and eastern Chilcotin. Elevational range within British Columbia is 400 to 1500 metres, and occasionally up to 2400 metres.


  • Badgers occur primarily in deep-soiled grassland, shrub-steppe, and open stands of ponderosa pine or Douglas-fir.
  • Cultivated lands and rural roadsides will also be inhabited by Badgers if prey is available.


  • Mating occurs in July or August and delayed implantation results in young being born around April.
  • Litters vary from 1 to 4 kits (average 2); only one litter is produced per year.
  • Young Badgers nurse for 5-6 weeks; young disperse at 10 -12 weeks of age.

Food Habits

  • Diet consists of mainly burrowing mammals such as ground squirrels, pocket gophers and marmots, but also includes animals that take refuge in burrows including snakes, rabbits and chipmunks.
  • These opportunistic mammals will also consume mice, muskrats, birds, bird eggs, insects, carrion and plant food.
  • Badgers rely on a highly developed sense of smell to locate prey.

Interesting Facts

  • Badgers have dens which usually have several tunnels and separate chambers.
  • Black patches or 'badges' on each cheek give the Badger its name.
  • Abandoned burrows provide important nesting sites for other wildlife such as Burrowing Owls.


  • Fire suppression causes forest encroachment on grasslands.
  • Loss and alteration of low elevation grasslands and open coniferous forests for development.
  • Killed by motor vehicles, especially dispersing young.
  • Illegal or accidental trapping; ground-dwelling animals are often shot as pests.
  • Reduced food supply and secondary poisoning from rodenticides.

Management Considerations

  • Maintain large tracts of key habitat, particularly open grassy areas with soils suitable for excavating burrows.
  • Employ grazing management practices that promote the growth of healthy native grassland communities.
  • Carefully monitor the use of rodenticides.
  • Support prescribed burning programs.
  • Encourage landowners to adopt a more sympathetic attitude towards Badgers and ground squirrels.
  • Report any observations of shooting, trapping, or harassment.


1. Blood, D.A. 1995. Wildlife at risk in British Columbia brochure: Badger. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Lands and Parks, Victoria, British Columbia.
2. Rahme, A.H., A.S Harestad and F.L. Bunnell. 1995. Status of the Badger in British Columbia. Wildlife Working Report No. WR-72. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Lands and Parks, Victoria, British Columbia.


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