Types of Badgers | Badger Species

Many different types of badgers live out in the wilderness. Every type of badger might look and act a little bit differently, but they all have the same general skills and attributes. There are noticeable differences that could impact the way that they survive, based on their species and region. 

The three most common types of badgers are honey badgers, American badgers, and European badgers. Honey badgers have the longest lifespan with an estimated two decades, while European badgers and American badgers can live for around 10 years in the wilderness.

Several other factors differentiate each type of badger. Honey badgers can be found across Africa and Asia, while European badgers are commonly found in countries like the United Kingdom. And as expected, the American badger lives in North America and can be found from Mexico up through Canada. 

Different Types of Common Badgers

There are around 8 commonly known types of badgers and multiple subspecies around the world. Each one lives in different conditions, regions, and environments. Here is our list of types of badgers and subspecies.

  • American Badger (Taxidea taxus)
  • European Badger (Meles meles)
  • Japanese Badger (Meles anakuma)
  • Chinese Ferret-Badger (Melogale moschata)
  • Eurasian Badger (Meles meles)
  • Hog Badger (Arctonyx collaris)
  • Indonesian Stink Badger (Mydaus javanensis)
  • Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis)
  • Palawan or Calamian Stink Badger (Suillotaxus marchei).

These badgers are related to many other animals in the weasel and skunk family. They are a diverse group of badgers, that are closely related, and spread across many different regions.

European Badger

European badgers are not as interested in remaining alone as other types of badgers. In fact, they are actually quite social and they are often seen together in the wild. These types of badgers have a territorial personality and will spend a lot of time ensuring that their territory belongs to them. 

Aggressive behavior is not uncommon for European badgers, but they generally mind their own business and hunt for food most of the time. They also spend a lot of time digging and building dens within their local territory.

European badgers are commonly black and brown and can have their fur color vary depending on the season. Like most other types of badgers, they can weigh around 25 pounds on average and are usually about two to three feet in length. They have a gestation period of about six weeks and the European badger is not endangered based on current population estimates.

American Badger

The American badger is usually a little bit smaller than the European badger and only weighs about 15 pounds on average. Some badgers in North America have been recorded with weights as high as 40 pounds, although this seems to be extremely rare.

It’s common to find a large population of badgers in the Great Plains regions of North America. They can also be found in various other parts of Mexico, the United States, and even Canada. Evidence found in the fossils of badgers suggests that the American badger is related to the European badger, but got stuck in North American during the Pliocene epoch. Source.

Some of the best news for the American badger is that their population numbers are very stable and they are not considered to be endangered. The future looks bright for this population of badgers as long as human development doesn’t continue to destroy future habitats for these interesting wild animals.

Honey Badger

Honey badgers are fearless animals that do an excellent job at surviving, regardless of their local environmental conditions. They are excellent at hunting and they have also perfected their digging skills to build dens for themselves and their cubs. 

With an average height of about 10 inches, these badgers might not seem like the most intimidating animal in the wild, but they are quite capable of protecting themselves with their sharp claws. They can vary in weight from around 15 pounds up to 35 pounds, similar to other types of badgers that we’re comparing to. 

One of the physical differences that you might notice between honey badgers and American badgers is that they have slightly smaller heads and ears that are much smaller. You’ll also notice a slight variation in their fur color. Honey badgers are known for having brownish/gray fur on their upper back with darker fur on their tail and legs.  

What Are the Biggest Badgers?

The European badger is thought to be the largest badger of the different species. American badgers, honey badgers, and the hog badger are slightly smaller. Even though the European badger is thought to be the largest, there are reports of many large badgers of all types.

The European badger is also said to be the second biggest mustelid (family of carnivorous mammals, such as weasels, badgers, otters, and more) next to the wolverine who holds the title of largest mustelid in the world.

See our article for Badger Vs Wolverine

What is the Toughest Badger

The toughest badger is the honey badger. These creatures are known to scrap with many other creatures and hold their ground. They are called honey badgers because they steal honey from beehives, full of angry bees. They live in Africa and Asia, so they must compete with many other predators in those regions.

The honey badger can become very aggressive, very quickly. This can work as a defense mechanism against other predators or territory threats. The honey badger can appear to be vicious and ready to rumble (as they say.) Source.

Rare Types of Badgers 

Japanese Badger

Found exclusively in Japan, the Japanese badger is about 30 inches in size. They have brown fur colors and prefer to live in forest regions. They don’t have an aggressive personality compared to other types of badgers from around the world. 

Chinese Ferret-Badger

You might have also heard about the Chinese ferret-badger. This small variation of badger can be found in Central China and weighs between three and six pounds. They have a life expectancy of about one decade, although many of them only survive for about six to seven years. 

Related Questions

Which type of badger has the largest population?

It is believed that the European badger has the largest population, based on current estimates. The American badger is closely behind, while the honey badger and other rarer types of badgers generally have lower populations due to their local regions. 

Which type of badger is most dangerous?

Honey badgers have a reputation for being much stronger and aggressive than other types of badgers. They are considered to be fearless and have an exceptional ability to fight in the wilderness compared to other types of badgers.

Chad Fox
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