* Threatened or Endangered

American Badger *

 : Taxidea taxus

 : Mammal

 : Southwest Canada south to Mexico

 : Chipmunks, ground squirrels, mice, rabbits, carrion and insects

 : Weight 12 to 20 lbs., length about 30 inches

 : Once very common in most of their range, badgers are rarely observed in some areas and have disappeared entirely from areas most affected by encroachment by humans.

This efficient digger is very effective at hunting ground squirrels and other small burrowing animals.  They can dig faster than a foot a minute in search of food.  With their keen sense of smell, badgers can determine if underground prey is in a burrow, then quickly dig, following the burrow tunnel until it finds its prey.  Badgers mate in the fall, but delay implantation of the egg until February, with young usually being born in April.