Asian Badger, Meles leucurus

The Asian badger or sand badger (Meles leucurus) is native to The Korean Peninsula, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Its range includes Mongolia and the Urals in the southeast portion of Russia. It prefers a habitat within open woodlands with deciduous vegetation next to pastures, but it will reside in steppe lands, scrublands, coniferous forests, and mixed woodlands. This badger species can be found at an elevation of up to 13,000 feet and is separated from the European badger by the Volga River.

The Asian badger is smaller than the European badger, but differs in color. It appears to be smudged with yellowish-brown and dark brown fur, and its legs are dark in color. The facial stripes of this species are light in color, and extend from below to the eyes to above the ears. This species holds five recognized subspecies that differ in size and appearance. These are the common sand badger, Siberian badger, Kazakh badger, Amur badger, and the Tien Shan badger. The Asian badger can be legally hunted in Mongolia, China, and Russia, but is poached in protected areas in China. It appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Taxidermy exhibit in the Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology (昆明动物博物馆), Kunming, Yunnan, China. Credit: Daderot/Wikipedia