Badgers are fascinating mammals that inhabit the Great Plains region, stretching from Canada to Mexico. They are also found in Europe, Asia, and Japan, with distinct species such as the European, Asian, and Japanese badgers. These creatures have heads resembling that of a skunk, featuring a white stripe, while their bodies are larger and covered in greyish fur.

These animals are known for their impressive burrowing skills, creating dens using their long, sharp claws. In this article, we will explore nine incredible facts about badgers, including their mating behavior, the upbringing of their cubs, and their interactions with predators. So, let’s dive into the captivating world of badgers and learn more about these feisty mammals.

1. Welcome to Badger Town: A Cozy Network of Burrows

European Badgers are quite sociable creatures that reside in family groups. They dwell in an intricate system of burrows, known as setts, with multiple dens throughout. Badger Towns feature about 40 small entrances, adorned with leaves and hay, as well as a scratching pole for maintaining their claws. Interestingly, these badger communities even designate a specific spot for their bathroom needs!

2. European Badgers: Cooperative Burrow-Sharing with Various Animals

European badgers are renowned for their impressive burrow-building skills, creating intricate and complex underground homes. In an interesting study conducted in Northern and Central Italy, researchers observed the burrow-sharing habits of 24 badger families using non-invasive camera traps. The results were astounding, revealing that European badgers allowed residence to eight different species within their burrows. Such tenants included the crested porcupine, Eastern cottontail, red fox, pine marten, stone marten, wood mouse, brown rat, and coypu (swamp rat). Among these, the Eastern cottontails were particularly notable for establishing a long-term, permanent stay within the badgers’ subterranean community.

3. Badgers’ Extended Winter Rest Without Hibernation

During fall, badgers accumulate body fat which they rely on during winter for energy. Instead of hibernating, these nocturnal animals take lengthy naps to conserve their resources.

4. Bee Stings Don’t Seem to Bother Honey Badgers Much

Honey badgers, though not actual badgers, are known for their fearless nature and ability to raid bee hives without any apparent harm from bee stings. There are a few theories regarding their resilience:

  • Thick skin: Honey badgers have tough skin, which may prevent bee stings from penetrating deep enough to cause harm.
  • Toxin resistance: These creatures might be less affected by bee venom, allowing them to withstand numerous stings. This could also be the reason they can consume venomous snakes without severe consequences.

Regardless of the exact reason, honey badgers continue to target bee hives in pursuit of delicious honey and nutritious bee larvae. Their daring nature and unique traits make these animals an interesting species to study.

5. Celebrating National Badger Day on October 6, 2021

In the United Kingdom, National Badger Day is a significant event aimed at raising awareness about the European badger. This unique species represents 25% of the entire European badger population. Wildlife specialists emphasize the importance of learning about these creatures and their crucial role in the ecosystem.

European badgers contribute to the ecosystem by:

  • Creating extensive underground burrow systems that serve as dens for numerous animals.
  • Spreading seeds across vast areas, assisting in the growth of various plants.

The Badger Trust works diligently to raise awareness about alternative solutions to badger culling. Since badgers can carry tuberculosis and transmit it to local cattle, it is essential to protect both badgers and the livestock. The Trust offers informative videos about the charming European badger, which is worth a watch.

6. The Plight of an Endangered Badger Species

The Bornean ferret-badger is an endangered species with a limited habitat, covering only 2,000 sq. miles in the northern part of Borneo island. Unlike their distant relatives, the American badger, they resemble ferrets more closely, possessing long fuzzy tails and a smaller body size.

  • Shared Trait: Both Bornean ferret-badgers and American badgers possess long claws for digging.

Threats: The primary threat facing this species is climate change, which puts their already small habitat at risk. By raising awareness and working towards environmental conservation, we can help protect these unique and endearing creatures.

7. Badger vs. Weiner Dog?

Dachshunds, also known as Weiner dogs, were specifically bred in Germany to pursue badgers. Their name reflects their purpose, with “dachsh” meaning badger and “hunds” meaning hound in German. Their elongated bodies enabled them to follow badgers into their burrows and engage them in combat.

Similarly, Border terriers were bred along the Scottish-English border to tackle foxes and badgers threatening livestock. These feisty dogs excel at:

  • Chasing down prey, like foxes
  • Digging foxes out of their dens
  • Hunting badgers due to their digging skills

In conclusion, both Dachshunds and Border terriers have a history of hunting badgers, showcasing their fearless nature and adaptability in handling such formidable opponents.

8. Century-Old Badger Setts: A Family Legacy

European badgers create intricate burrows and tunnels that are handed down through generations. These setts, or dens, require substantial effort to build, and serve multiple animals that depend on them. Badgers continue to inhabit these setts, sharing them with their offspring and even remodeling or expanding them to cater to their growing families. This remarkable connection between the animals displays the impressive longevity and adaptability of badger setts.

9. Badgers Show Great Hygiene with Daily Bedding Changes

Badgers take cleanliness seriously, especially when it comes to their sleeping space. In their underground dens, they sleep on a bed of leaves, hay, and grass. Every day, badgers actively remove worn-out bedding, replacing it with fresh materials for a good night’s rest.

These animals have short legs and are excellent diggers, which help them maintain their burrows. By keeping their dens tidy, badgers create a comfortable and hygienic environment to rest in. So, badgers changing their bedding daily is a remarkable display of their cleanliness habits.

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