American Badger

The American Badger, Taxidea taxus, is a North American badger, somewhat similar in appearance to the European Badger.

It is found in the western and central United States, northern Mexico and central Canada. This animal prefers dry open areas with deep soils that are easy to dig, such as prairie regions. In Mexico, this animal is sometimes called “tlacoyote”.


The stocky body is flattened covered with shaggy grizzled fur, and the legs are short and powerful. The legs have long sharp claws on the front paws and shorter claws on the back paws. Its fur ranges from gray to red. The vent rum is a buffy color. The triangular face of the badger is distinct. The throat and chin are whitish, and the face has black patches. A white dorsal stripe extends back over the head from the nose. In northern populations, this stripe ends near the shoulders. In southern populations, however, it continues over the back to the rump. Badgers measure 20.47 to 34.25 in (52 to 87 cm) from head to tail. The tail makes up only 3.94 to 6.3 in (10 to 16 cm) of its length and it generally weighs between 8.82 and 26.46 lb (4 and 12 kg). Males are significantly larger than females and animals from northern populations are larger than those from southern populations.

Further Information

These animals prey on ground squirrels and mice and other small mammals, often digging to pursue prey into their dens. They also eat birds, snakes and insects. They are mainly active at night, but may be active during the day. They do not hibernate but may become less active in winter.

They are normally solitary animals for most of the year. Males may breed with more than one female. Mating occurs in the summer, but implantation is delayed and the young are born in an underground burrow during late winter.

They have few natural predators other than humans. The numbers of these animals has declined due to persecution by farmers and the extermination of many of their prey in agricultural areas.

The state animal of Wisconsin is the badger.