Badger

A badger emerges from the ground
Badgers are small mammals in Yellowstone National Park.

NPS

 
Black paw prints of a badger
Badger tracks

Scientific Name

Taxidea taxus

Identification

  • 22–28 inches long, 13–25 pounds.
  • Short and stout; adapted to digging.
  • Light body with dark stripe down back and darker feet. Broad head forms a wedge. Sides of face are white with black patches, white stripe from nose extends towards back.

Habitat

  • Prefers open areas like grasslands.
  • Adapted to eat ground squirrels, pocket gophers, and other small rodents; will also eat ground-nesting birds and their eggs. Average badger needs to eat about two ground squirrels or pocket gophers a day to maintain its weight. Digs burrows in pursuit of prey.
  • Adults preyed on by mountain lions, bears, and wolves. Coyotes and eagles will prey on young.

Behavior

  • Mostly solitary except in mating season (summer and early fall). Have delayed implantation; active gestation starts around February.
  • Excavated dens are used for daytime resting sites, food storage, and giving birth. Typically have one entrance, marked by a mound of soil. May be inactive in their dens for up to a month in winter, but they are not true hibernators.
  • Mostly active at night. May live up to 14 years.
 
A wolf standing on a snowy bank near brown grass howls

Mammals

Home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states.

Last updated: July 11, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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