Taxidea taxus - (Schreber, 1777)
American Badger
Other English Common Names: American badger, Badger
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Taxidea taxus (Schreber, 1777) (TSN 180565)
French Common Names: blaireau d'Amérique
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101705
Element Code: AMAJF04010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Carnivores
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae Taxidea
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at:
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Taxidea taxus
Taxonomic Comments: Four subspecies have been recognized on the basis of differences in skull size and pelage color (Long 1972): T. t. berlandieri, found in the southern United States; T. t. jacksoni, found in the north-central United States and southern Ontario in Canada; T. t. taxus, found in the Great Plains ecosystem ranging from the United States into the prairie provinces of Canada; and T. t. jeffersonii, found in western United States and southern British Columbia.

Genetic data support the current geographic delineation of the northwestern subspecies taxus and jeffersonii (Kyle et al. 2004). Gene flow between prairie populations of T. t taxus did not seem to be restricted, nor did there seem to be a restriction of gene flow for populations within mountain ranges for T. t. jeffersonii. In contrast, minimal gene flow was observed between populations separated by mountain ranges.

Taxus is a generic synonym.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 18Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range in the western and central U.S., southern Canada, and northern and central Mexico; relatively common over much of range, but probably has declined substantially in areas converted from grassland to intensive agriculture and where colonial rodents such as prairie dogs and groundsquirrels have been reduced or eliminated. Also threatened by collisions with vehicles and by direct persecution.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (15Dec2012)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S3S4), Arkansas (S1S2), California (S3), Colorado (S4), Idaho (S5), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S2), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S5), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (SNR), Missouri (SU), Montana (S4), Navajo Nation (S5), Nebraska (S5), Nevada (S4), New Mexico (S3), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (S2), Oklahoma (S4), Oregon (S4), South Dakota (S5), Texas (S5), Utah (S5), Washington (S4), Wisconsin (S4), Wyoming (S5)
Canada Alberta (S4), British Columbia (S1), Manitoba (S4), Ontario (S2), Saskatchewan (S3S4)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):E,E,SC
Comments on COSEWIC: In November 2012, COSEWIC designated the subspecies taxus as Special Concern, the subspecies jacksoni confirmed as Endangered, and the subspecies jeffersonii was split into two populations (Western & Eastern), both designated as Endangered.
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Southern Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and southern Ontario), south and west to Texas, and Puebla and Baja California, Mexico (Wozencraft, in Wilson and Reeder 1993; Long, in Wilson and Ruff 1999).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: U.S. population roughly estimated to be on the order of several hundred thousand; Canadian population less than 50,000 (Newhouse and Kinley 1999). No estimates for Mexican population. In areas of abundance, can reach densities of 3-5/square kilometer (Long, in Wilson and Ruff 1999).

In Canada, both T. t. jacksoni in Ontario and T. t. jeffersonii in British Columbia are recognized as endangered, with as few as 200 and 600 animals remaining, respectively (Kyle et al. 2004).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Although clearing of forests for agricultural land has probably resulted in some range expansion, cultivation of grassland has undoubtedly caused declines (Soper 1964, Stardom 1979, Lindzey 1982, Messick 1987, Smith 1992, Newhouse and Kinley 1999). Likewise, intensification of agriculture is likely to cause declines in the future.

In the west, infill of formerly open woodlands and encroachment of forests into grassland as a result of effective fire suppression has eliminated or degraded much badger habitat (Newhouse and Kinley 1999).

Most mortality is caused by vehicles or deliberate killing by humans (Stardom 1979, Messick et al. 1981, Fitzgerald et al. 1994, Newhouse and Kinley 2000, Apps et al. 2002). Badgers may actually be attracted to roads, both because ground squirrels often burrow alongside them (Ketcheson and Bauer 1995), and because they are good travel routes (Warner and Ver Steeg 1995).

Badgers are trapped, shot and poisoned because their diggings are thought to cause broken legs in livestock, lead to water loss from irrigation canals, and cause damage to vehicles encountering their burrows (Scobie 2002). Declines may also be related to the persecution of their primary prey, prairie dogs and ground squirrels (Apps et al. 2002). Finley et al. (1976) speculated that some Colorado populations may have declined because of the elimination of prairie dogs.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Secretive nature makes it difficult to determine trends. Long and Killingley (1983) presented evidence that badgers were declining in several western states. Messick (1987) indicated that declines were evident in Idaho, California, New Mexico, and parts of South Dakota; whereas populations appeared to be increasing in Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan. Trends are unknown in much of U.S. range (Newhouse and Kinley 1999). Definitely has declined and is declining in British Columbia (Newhouse and Kinley 1999, 2000). Probably have declined where prairie dogs have been eliminated or reduced a great deal in numbers.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <70% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: Has undoubtedly declined substantially in parts of the west, where grassland habitat has been replaced by intensive agriculture, and where prey such as prairie dogs and ground squirrels have been reduced or eliminated. Numbers have "declined dramatically" in Alberta over the past 70 years-- 18,000 were harvested there in 1928 alone; now only 1000-10,000 remain in the provincial population (Scobie 2002). However, forest clearing has apparently resulted in some range expansion to the north and east in North America (Messick 1987, Scobie 2002).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Southern Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and southern Ontario), south and west to Texas, and Puebla and Baja California, Mexico (Wozencraft, in Wilson and Reeder 1993; Long, in Wilson and Ruff 1999).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AR, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NM, NN, NV, OH, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, ON, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005; Sechrest, 2002

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Craighead (05031), Washington (05143)*
CA Alameda (06001), Butte (06007), Colusa (06011), Contra Costa (06013), El Dorado (06017), Fresno (06019), Glenn (06021), Humboldt (06023), Imperial (06025), Inyo (06027)*, Kern (06029), Kings (06031), Lake (06033), Lassen (06035), Los Angeles (06037), Madera (06039), Marin (06041)*, Mariposa (06043), Mendocino (06045)*, Merced (06047), Modoc (06049), Mono (06051), Monterey (06053), Napa (06055), Orange (06059), Plumas (06063), Riverside (06065), Sacramento (06067), San Benito (06069), San Bernardino (06071), San Diego (06073), San Francisco (06075)*, San Joaquin (06077), San Luis Obispo (06079), San Mateo (06081)*, Santa Barbara (06083), Santa Clara (06085), Santa Cruz (06087), Shasta (06089), Sierra (06091), Siskiyou (06093), Sonoma (06097), Stanislaus (06099), Tehama (06103), Trinity (06105), Tulare (06107), Tuolumne (06109)*, Ventura (06111), Yolo (06113)
ID Ada (16001), Bannock (16005)*, Blaine (16013), Bonneville (16019)*, Butte (16023)*, Camas (16025), Cassia (16031)*, Clark (16033)*, Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Fremont (16043)*, Gooding (16047), Idaho (16049)*, Jerome (16053), Latah (16057)*, Lemhi (16059)*, Lewis (16061), Lincoln (16063), Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073)*, Payette (16075), Washington (16087)
IN Allen (18003), Bartholomew (18005), Benton (18007), Boone (18011), Brown (18013), Carroll (18015), Cass (18017), Clark (18019), Clay (18021), Clinton (18023), Daviess (18027), De Kalb (18033), Dearborn (18029), Decatur (18031), Delaware (18035), Dubois (18037), Elkhart (18039), Fayette (18041), Fountain (18045), Franklin (18047), Fulton (18049), Gibson (18051), Grant (18053), Greene (18055), Hamilton (18057), Hancock (18059), Hendricks (18063), Henry (18065), Howard (18067), Huntington (18069), Jackson (18071), Jasper (18073), Jefferson (18077), Jennings (18079), Johnson (18081), Knox (18083), Kosciusko (18085), La Porte (18091), Lagrange (18087), Lake (18089), Lawrence (18093), Madison (18095), Marion (18097), Marshall (18099), Martin (18101), Miami (18103), Monroe (18105), Montgomery (18107), Morgan (18109), Newton (18111), Noble (18113), Orange (18117), Owen (18119), Parke (18121), Pike (18125), Porter (18127), Posey (18129), Pulaski (18131), Putnam (18133), Randolph (18135), Ripley (18137), Rush (18139), Shelby (18145), Spencer (18147), St. Joseph (18141), Starke (18149), Steuben (18151), Sullivan (18153), Tippecanoe (18157), Union (18161), Vanderburgh (18163), Vermillion (18165), Vigo (18167), Wabash (18169), Warren (18171), Warrick (18173), Washington (18175), Wayne (18177), White (18181), Whitley (18183)
MO Adair (29001), Atchison (29005), Audrain (29007), Boone (29019), Buchanan (29021), Callaway (29027), Carroll (29033), Cass (29037), Cedar (29039), Chariton (29041), Clark (29045), Clay (29047), Clinton (29049), Cooper (29053), Dade (29057), Dallas (29059), Gasconade (29073), Greene (29077), Harrison (29081), Henry (29083), Hickory (29085), Holt (29087), Howard (29089), Jackson (29095), Johnson (29101), Knox (29103), Laclede (29105), Lafayette (29107), Lawrence (29109), Lincoln (29113), Linn (29115), Macon (29121), Marion (29127), Miller (29131), Moniteau (29135), Monroe (29137), Montgomery (29139), Newton (29145), Nodaway (29147), Oregon (29149), Osage (29151), Pettis (29159), Pike (29163), Platte (29165), Putnam (29171), Ralls (29173), Randolph (29175), Ray (29177), Saline (29195), Schuyler (29197), Scotland (29199)*, Shelby (29205), St. Charles (29183), St. Clair (29185), St. Louis (29189), St. Louis (city) (29510), Sullivan (29211), Vernon (29217), Webster (29225)
OH Franklin (39049), Fulton (39051), Logan (39091), Madison (39097), Miami (39109), Morrow (39117), Ottawa (39123)*, Seneca (39147), Union (39159)
WA Adams (53001)+, Benton (53005)+, Columbia (53013)+, Douglas (53017)+, Ferry (53019)+, Franklin (53021)+, Garfield (53023)+, Grant (53025)+, Kittitas (53037)+, Klickitat (53039)+, Lincoln (53043)+, Okanogan (53047)+, Pend Oreille (53051)+, Skamania (53059)+, Spokane (53063)+, Stevens (53065)+, Walla Walla (53071)+, Whitman (53075)+, Yakima (53077)+
WY Sublette (56035)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, St. Joseph (04100003)+, St. Marys (04100004)+, Upper Maumee (04100005)+, Tiffin (04100006)+, Cedar-Portage (04100010)+*, Sandusky (04100011)+
05 Upper Scioto (05060001)+, Upper Great Miami (05080001)+, Whitewater (05080003)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+, Upper Wabash (05120101)+, Salamonie (05120102)+, Mississinewa (05120103)+, Eel (05120104)+, Middle Wabash-Deer (05120105)+, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Wildcat (05120107)+, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Sugar (05120110)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+, Lower Wabash (05120113)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, Eel (05120203)+, Driftwood (05120204)+, Flatrock-Haw (05120205)+, Upper East Fork White (05120206)+, Muscatatuck (05120207)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+, Patoka (05120209)+, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)+, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+
07 Lower Des Moines (07100009)+, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, North Fabius (07110002)+, South Fabius (07110003)+, The Sny (07110004)+, North Fork Salt (07110005)+, South Fork Salt (07110006)+, Salt (07110007)+, Cuivre (07110008)+, Peruque-Piasa (07110009)+, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+, Chicago (07120003)+, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+, Bourbeuse (07140103)+
08 Lower St. Francis (08020203)+
10 Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+, Nishnabotna (10240004)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Nodaway (10240010)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011)+, Platte (10240012)+, One Hundred and Two (10240013)+, Upper Grand (10280101)+, Thompson (10280102)+, Lower Grand (10280103)+, Upper Chariton (10280201)+, Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Marmaton (10290104)+, Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+, South Grand (10290108)+, Niangua (10290110)+, Lower Osage (10290111)+, Lower Gasconade (10290203)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+, Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102)+, Lamine (10300103)+, Blackwater (10300104)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+*, James (11010002)+, Eleven Point (11010011)+, Spring (11070207)+, Illinois (11110103)+*
14 Big Sandy (14040104)+
15 Imperial Reservoir (15030104)+, Lower Colorado (15030107)+
16 Lake Tahoe (16050101)+, Truckee (16050102)+*, East Walker (16050301)+, West Walker (16050302)+, Ivanpah-Pahrump Valleys (16060015)+
17 Pend Oreille (17010216), Hangman (17010306), Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001), Kettle (17020002), Colville (17020003), Sanpoil (17020004), Chief Joseph (17020005), Similkameen (17020007), Methow (17020008), Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010), Moses Coulee (17020012), Upper Crab (17020013), Banks Lake (17020014), Lower Crab (17020015), Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016), Upper Yakima (17030001), Naches (17030002), Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003), Upper Henrys (17040202)+*, Willow (17040205)+*, Portneuf (17040208)+*, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210)+*, Goose (17040211)+*, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Birch (17040216)+*, Big Lost (17040218)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+*, Lower Boise (17050114)+*, Middle Snake-Payette (17050115)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+*, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107), Palouse (17060108)+, Rock (17060109), Lower Snake (17060110), Upper Salmon (17060201)+*, Pahsimeroi (17060202)+*, Lemhi (17060204)+*, South Fork Clearwater (17060305)+*, Clearwater (17060306)+, Walla Walla (17070102), Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105), Klickitat (17070106), Upper Cowlitz (17080004)
18 Upper Eel (18010103)+*, Middle Fork Eel (18010104)+*, South Fork Eel (18010106)+*, Mattole (18010107)+, Big-Navarro-Garcia (18010108)+*, Gualala-Salmon (18010109)+, Russian (18010110)+, Lost (18010204)+, Upper Klamath (18010206)+, Shasta (18010207)+*, Trinity (18010211)+, Upper Pit (18020002)+, Lower Pit (18020003)+, Mccloud (18020004)+, Sacramento-Stone Corral (18020104)+, Upper Stony (18020115)+, Upper Cache (18020116)+, North Fork Feather (18020121)+*, East Branch North Fork Feather (18020122)+, Middle Fork Feather (18020123)+, South Fork American (18020129)+, Cottonwood Creek (18020152)+, Clear Creek-Sacramento River (18020154)+*, Thomes Creek-Sacramento River (18020156)+, Butte Creek (18020158)+, Upper Putah (18020162)+, Lower Sacramento (18020163)+, Upper Kern (18030001)+, South Fork Kern (18030002)+*, Middle Kern-Upper Tehachapi- (18030003)+, Upper Poso (18030004)+, Upper Deer-Upper White (18030005)+, Upper Kaweah (18030007)+, Upper Dry (18030009)+, Upper King (18030010)+, Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes (18030012)+, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040001)+, Middle San Joaquin-Lower (18040002)+, San Joaquin Delta (18040003)+, Upper San Joaquin (18040006)+, Upper Chowchilla-Upper Fresno (18040007)+, Upper Merced (18040008)+, Upper Tuolumne (18040009)+, Upper Mokelumne (18040012)+*, Panoche-San Luis Reservoir (18040014)+*, San Pablo Bay (18050002)+, Coyote (18050003)+, San Francisco Bay (18050004)+, Tomales-Drake Bays (18050005)+*, San Francisco Coastal South (18050006)+*, San Lorenzo-Soquel (18060001)+, Pajaro (18060002)+, Carrizo Plain (18060003)+, Estrella (18060004)+, Salinas (18060005)+, Central Coastal (18060006)+, Cuyama (18060007)+, Santa Maria (18060008)+, San Antonio (18060009)+, Santa Ynez (18060010)+, Alisal-Elkhorn Sloughs (18060011)+, Carmel (18060012)+, Santa Barbara Coastal (18060013)+, Ventura (18070101)+, Santa Clara (18070102)+, Calleguas (18070103)+, Santa Monica Bay (18070104)+, Los Angeles (18070105)+, San Gabriel (18070106)+, San Jacinto (18070202)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Newport Bay (18070204)+, Aliso-San Onofre (18070301)+, Santa Margarita (18070302)+*, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, San Diego (18070304)+, Cottonwood-Tijuana (18070305)+, Surprise Valley (18080001)+, Madeline Plains (18080002)+, Honey-Eagle Lakes (18080003)+, Crowley Lake (18090102)+*, Eureka-Saline Valleys (18090201)+*, Death Valley-Lower Amargosa (18090203)+*, Panamint Valley (18090204)+*, Indian Wells-Searles Valleys (18090205)+, Antelope-Fremont Valleys (18090206)+, Coyote-Cuddeback Lakes (18090207)+, Mojave (18090208)+, Southern Mojave (18100100)+, Whitewater River (18100201)+, Carrizo Creek (18100202)+*, Salton Sea (18100204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: A low-slung, wide-bodied carnivore.
General Description: A heavy-bodied, short-legged mammal with long fore claws, long fur (longest on the sides), and a short bushy tail; upperparts are yellowish gray to reddish brown, with a white middorsal stripe extending from the snout to the neck or shoulders in the north and usually to the rump in the south; black patches are present on the face and cheeks; underparts are buffy, except for the whitish chin, throat, and mid-ventral region; feet are dark brown to black; head and body length 42-72 cm, tail length 10-15.5 cm, mass 4-12 kg (Nowak 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Other North American mammals of similar size and shape (low flat profile) include skunks and wolverine; differs from skunks in lacking extensive black pelage, differs from wolverine in having a white middorsal head stripe.
Reproduction Comments: Mates mid- to late summer. Implantation is delayed until December-February. One litter averaging 3 (2-5) is born March-early April (probably late May or early June in Kansas). Young leave family group in fall. In Idaho, 30% of young-of-the-year females bred; males were sexually mature as yearlings (Messick and Hornocker 1981).
Ecology Comments: Basicaly solitary, though home ranges may overlap (Messick and Hornocker 1981).

Density averages 1 per sq mile in prime open country (Long 1973). In southeastern Wyoming, density was 0.8-1.1 per sq km (Goodrich and Buskirk 1998).

In Idaho, half of the population was young-of-the-year (Messick and Hornocker 1981).

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: In Idaho, home ranges of adult males averaged 2.4 square kilometers, whereas those of females averaged 1.6 square kilometers; most young-of-the-year dispersed during their first summer, up to 110 km in males, up to 52 km in females (Messick and Hornocker 1981).

In southeastern Wyoming, home ranges averaged 12.3 square kilometers in males, 3.4 square kilometers in females (Goodrich and Buskirk 1998).

A female in Minnesota had a summer home range of 7.5 square kilometers and moved to an adjacent, but much smaller area in the winter (Sargeant and Warner 1972).

Where favorable habitat is patchier, home ranges can be significantly larger. In southeastern British Columbia, male home ranges averaged 69 square kilometers (fixed kernel method) and those of females averaged 38 square kilometers (Newhouse and Kinley 2000).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Prefers open areas and may also frequent brushlands with little groundcover. When inactive, occupies underground burrow.

Young are born in underground burrows. In Idaho, activites of females with young (March-May) centered on a sequence of maternal dens (Messick and Hornocker 1981).

Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on small rodents usually captured by digging out burrow. Ground squirrels often major item in diet, as are pocket gophers, kangaroo rats, priairie dogs, and mice; also eats scorpions, insects, snakes, lizards, and birds, especially when ground squirrel population is low (Messick and Hornocker 1981).
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Usually active day/night; reported as chiefly nocturnal in Caire et al. 1989. In Idaho, rarely stayed underground for more than 24 hours except in winter; one female emerged from winter den only once during 72-day period (Messick and Hornocker 1981).
Length: 87 centimeters
Weight: 11400 grams
Economic Attributes
Economic Comments: Relatively little recent demand for pelt, which is of variable quality (Caire et al. 1989). In the early 1980s, an annual average of about 10,000 pelts, with an average value of about $10.00, was reported taken in the U.S. and Canada (Nowak 1991).

Valued in helping control populations of rodents deemed undesireable by some ranchers.

Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 07Mar2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Dec1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Adams, I., et al. In press. National recovery strategy for American badger, jeffersonii subspecies (Taxidea taxus jeffersonii). Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  • Apps, C. D., N. J. Newhouse, and T. A. Kinley. 2002. Habitat associations of American badgers in southeastern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80:1228-1239.

  • Baker, R. H. 1983. Michigan mammals. Michigan State University Press. 642 pp.

  • Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.

  • Beck, W.H. 1958. A guide to Saskatchewan mammals. Special Publication No. 1. Saskatchewan Natural History Society, Regina, Saskatchewan.

  • Bradley, R.D., L.K. Ammerman, R.J. Baker, L.C. Bradley, J.A. Cook. R.C. Dowler, C. Jones, D.J. Schmidly, F.B. Stangl Jr., R.A. Van den Bussche and B. Würsig. 2014. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2014. Museum of Texas Tech University Occasional Papers 327:1-28. Available at: <> (Accessed April 1, 2015)

  • COSEWIC. 2002. Canadian Species at Risk, May 2002. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 34 pp. Available online:

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