Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The badger, Taxidea taxus, is a medium-sized mammal that is common in appropriate habitat (open areas such as grasslands and deserts) throughout Utah. The overall range of the badger includes much of the western and north-central United States, parts of south-central Canada, and much of Mexico.

The badger has strong legs and long claws on the front feet, which make it a tremendous digger. This digging ability allows the badger to unearth its primary food source, burrowing rodents, such as ground squirrels, gophers, and prairie dogs. Invertebrates, reptiles, and birds may also be consumed when small mammals are rare, however. The species mates in late summer, and litters of two to five young are born in March or April. The badger is primarily nocturnal, but sightings during the day, especially during the early morning, are not uncommon. When inactive during the day and the cold winter months, badgers retreat to underground dens.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.