American Badger Vs European Badger

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The American badger and European badger are two variations of a common animal that live in different parts of the world. In this guide, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the factors that differentiate these two types of badgers while also learning about the similarities between them. 

The American badger can be found in many specific regions across North America, although they prefer to live in the Great Plains regions of the continent. European badgers live across regions of Europe in open grassland areas. Size, color, and personality are only a few of the differences that you might immediately notice between these two badgers.

While there are visual and emotional factors that you might be able to compare between these two badgers, there are also some subtle things that might take longer for you to notice. Before we compare additional similarities and differences between European and American badgers, it’s important to remember that their local region shapes their adaptations.

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This means that American badgers naturally develop skills that help them survive in the North American wilderness, which can be very different from the environment that European badgers are exposed to on their own continent. The Eurasian badger (European badger) is the most common badger found in Europe. Source.

Size and Weight American Badger Vs European Badger

European badgers commonly grow to be a little bit larger than American badgers. While they can vary in size and weight, European badgers can reach up to 30 pounds, while American badgers generally remain a little bit smaller. In many cases, American badgers will have a maximum weight of only 25 pounds.

Both types of badgers have short tails and have a total body length of about 20 inches. They aren’t completely different when compared between size and weight, but it’s important to remember that American badgers will likely be a little bit smaller than European badgers.

See our article for Badger Tail here.

Are American Badgers Strong?

American badgers have strong legs and arms. Because digging is part of their survival to create shelter and find food, they must have very strong body strength. Their huge claws can be very intimidating to predators, however, they mostly use them to move dirt.

Badgers create networks of tunnels called setts. These are badger dens, where they live and hunt underground. The constant clawing and digging gives the badger an advantage over small prey and can even give them the upper hand on a predator that sees their strength, claws, and nasty attitude as something to avoid.

See our article for Badger Dens click here.

Example of an American badger.

American Badger Vs European Badger Lifespan

American and European badgers share a similar lifespan. They both are capable of living for up to a decade in the wilderness, although many of them live shorter lives due to health issues or other environmental hazards.

They are not considered to be fully mature as adults until they reach about one year of age. In some cases, it can take up to 18 months for a badger to fully mature. Female badgers are usually not able to breed until 24 months, which is the approximate timeframe they’ll reach full adult maturity.  

See our article for How Long Do Badgers Live here.

Are European Badgers Friendly?

In Europe, badger watching is an activity that people enjoy. However, just because they enjoy watching them, does not mean it is ok to pet a badger or to think it is friendly enough to see up close. When badger watching, you should always watch from a distance, being careful not to spook them or disturb their environment.

Badgers may seem friendly enough, you may even have one in your garden/backyard, but they are still wild animals, and their instincts to defend themselves could kick in at any minute if they feel threatened.

Example of a European badger.

Hunting Skills

American badgers are known for being excellent hunters in the wilderness. They are not afraid to use their sharp claws to dig for smaller animals like rodents. European badgers are similar and will use similar techniques, although they sometimes rely on other types of animals for food.

 European badgers also sometimes rely on worms, insects, or plants for their diet. The American badger also has a similar diet.

A remarkable observation suggests that badgers are not afraid to hunt in unison with other animals in the wilderness. There have been a few sightings of badgers working together with coyotes in the wild to hunt for a meal. Source.


If you are looking to compare the appearance of an American badger and a European badger, then you’ll have to look for some minor differences in the color and size of these types of badgers.

European badgers are known for being a little bit larger and are generally black, gray, and white. American badgers are also commonly gray, although they sometimes have a brownish or reddish tint to their appearance.

Both types of badgers have short tails and similar head markings or stripes. The lower portion of their bodies can sometimes be much darker than their upper body. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between them is by the size of the white stripe on their head. American badger stripes are thinner while the European badger has a large white stripe right down the center of its head.

American Badger Vs European Badger | Which is more dangerous?

If you’re trying to figure out which type of badger is more dangerous, it’s probably important to remember that they’re both wild animals that can be unpredictable. There’s a reason why badgers are not supposed to be kept as pets, although there are no real records of humans being attacked by a wild badger. 

Both types of badgers will likely be afraid of humans, but it’s still probably not a good idea to confront a badger. They will use their survival instincts, which could ultimately be dangerous for any human that is nearby.

Which Type of Badger Has a Larger Population?

There’s good news for badgers all across the world. Population numbers are stable for American and European badgers. There’s no immediate concern that they will be endangered at any point in the future.

It’s currently believed that European badgers have a larger population than American badgers. Even still, both badger variations are currently prospering in the wilderness and there’s no immediate concern for either species’ population right now.

Related Question

Where do European badgers live?

European badgers are commonly found in Russia and Scandinavia. They have prospered over the last few decades on the European continent and their population numbers remain stable.

Where do American badgers live?

American badgers are commonly found in the Great Plains regions of the United States, but they can also be found in regions of Canada. Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Indiana are only a few of the states where you might find a reasonable badger population.

Chad Fox