In Our Backyard: American Badger
This winter you may be able to spot footprints of the American badger in the snow in the Thompson-Nicola.
There are four subspecies of the American badger (Taxidea taxus), each inhabiting a distinct region of Canada. American badgers require grasslands to survive and thrive where they can burrow and feed on small animals, such as mice and squirrels.
The Thompson-Nicola region of BC hosts the western population of the Taxidea taxus jeffersonii. This population is endangered nationally due to its small and decreasing population size, with an estimated 150 to 245 adults.
One of the largest threats the American badgers face is development and other changes in land-use. Grasslands transitioned to agriculture and the growth of communities including new roads, split up the natural areas American badgers need to live. As their natural wildlife corridors are lost, they are forced to interact with humans more often leading to their death from being hit by vehicles on roads.
How to Help
The BC Badger Recovery Team is a group with representatives from federal and provincial governments, ranching and farming industries, research scientists, First Nations, and conservation organizations. Together they are monitoring the American badger population in BC and locating where to focus conservation efforts in the province. They ask for anyone who sees a badger, dead or alive, or badger burrows, to report sightings to Report-A-Badger. Recent successes include installing badger crossings.
Photo by John Surgenor