Body length: 18 - 22"
Like skunks, otters, and wolverines, badgers are members of the weasel family. In addition to their ferocity in encounters with other mammals such as coyotes and domestic dogs, these stout animals are well-known for their digging abilities. With extremely strong claws and muscular legs, badgers construct deep underground dens and dig to find their food, which includes mice, squirrels, birds, and snakes.
Badgers appear to be residents at Tonto, and are sometimes observed in the northern areas of the Monument, in the vicinity of Route 188. In general, they favor flat, open areas with few shrubs. Badgers are solitary except during the mating season; two to five offspring are born each year.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Biologists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.