Photo by Bob Gress
Total Length: 26-32 inches
Tail Length: 4-6 inches
Weight: 10-16 pounds
Pound for pound American badgers are likely the most powerful mammals in
Kansas. They have stout, flattened bodies, powerful forelegs with large, re-curved claws,
strong jaw muscles, short ears and a short, furry tail. If threatened, they attack
explosively with hissing, growling and biting. They inhabit open country and are
frequently found with colonial rodents, especially prairie dogs. They dig their dens in
hillsides and road embankments leaving a conspicuous dirt mound at the entrance. Except
during the mating season, badgers are solitary. Females bear a litter of 1-5 young in late
spring. Badgers can live 12-14 years but few make it past 2 years in the wild.
American badgers are found from southern Mexico through the western two-thirds of
the United States into southwest Canada.
American badgers feed on pocket gophers, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, mice,
rabbits and insects.
Return to the Mammal's Den!
Text: George Potts and Bob Gress
Design: Jim Mason