Badgers are tough animals in the wilderness. They have a reasonable lifespan and manage to adapt to their surroundings fairly well. Don’t be mistaken though, just because they are tough and tenacious creatures doesn’t mean that they are immune from the dangers of the wilderness.
A badger can just easily be a meal for another animal if they let their guard down. We are going to discuss the different types of animals that might eat a badger in the wilderness.
What Eats a Badger?
Badgers are preyed on and eaten by bears, eagles, mountain lions, bobcats, wolves, coyotes, foxes, wolverines and other wild animals that share their territory. Badgers are forced to use their survival abilities to avoid these dangerous animals, by moving underground throughout their tunnel systems, to avoid potential conflicts with predators.
We’ll continue to explore some of the animals that have been documented as a major threat to badgers. It’s also important to discuss which regions are most dangerous for badgers due to other animal populations being higher.
Badger Cubs | What Eats a Badger
Due to their young age and size, badger cubs are certainly the most vulnerable in the wilderness. Even with the protection from their mother, cubs can be attacked by other animals. The most common predators for badgers are bears, wolves, and bobcats. Any one of these animals may initiate an attack against a badger, especially during times of the year when food supplies are limited.
This is one of the reasons that badgers try to limit their activity in the winter. They would rather stay underground in their den/sett where it is much safer than taking a chance at roaming around above ground.
See our article for Badger Dens here.
Quick List for What Eats a Badger
Each of these animals poses a threat to badgers. Whether they are preyed on as a food source, or killed because they are competing in a fight over territory, badgers can be killed or eaten. One of the largest threats to badgers is humans, who either destroy their habitats or hunt them to keep their populations down.
Few Animals Risk Attacking Badgers
Very few animals are actually willing to attack a badger. Making a meal out of a badger doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense for other animals because badgers are willing to fight back. Many animals are aware of this and will simply not attempt to hunt a badger.
Other animals are so ferocious or desperate that they will attempt to attack anyways. For example, some bears and wolves may see the attack as a necessary battle in order to have a chance at getting a meal. Badgers would obviously rather not have this conflict, but they will defend themselves, if necessary.
Mountain lions, bears, and bobcats are a few examples of animals that may live in a similar region as a badger. By sharing the same region and territory, this automatically makes the badger a primary target for a future meal for any one of these animals. At the same time, it also ensures that these animals will come across each other at some point in time.
Bears are not nocturnal, while mountain lions and bobcats are nocturnal. It’s important to remember that badgers are also nocturnal, so it’s slightly more likely that a mountain lion or bobcat may come across a badger in the middle of the night when they are both awake.
European badgers are estimated to have more natural predators based on their local environment. This means that badgers that live in Europe are slightly higher at risk than a badger that might live somewhere else in the world.
North American badgers have a few predators, but not as many as the European badger. While all badgers have to face the possibility of being hunted, they also have to face environmental hazards, some of which are naturally caused while others are caused by human development.
Badger Predators UK
The United Kingdom has one of the largest badger populations in the world. In the UK, badgers are preyed on by wild canids, such as wild dogs, wolves, and foxes, as well as other badgers. Most of the badger deaths are most likely due to territory overlap, although some badgers may become a meal when food sources are scarce. Source.
Another killer of badgers in both the UK and in North America is diseases. Badgers spread Bovine TB, and for this reason, they can become sick, as well as pass it to other animals. For this reason, many badgers are culled, when there is an outbreak. Samples collected from 94 dead roadkill badgers, in southwest England, showed that 20 out of 94 subjects were carriers of the disease. Source.
One of the reasons that only a few different types of animals are willing to hunt a badger is because they are incredibly capable of defending themselves. They have sharp claws and are capable of striking an attacking predator. They have skills and attributes that can intimidate predators, which is why the list of potential predators is so short for badgers that live in the wilderness.
You might think that predators intend to attack badgers for the sake of having a meal. While this is sometimes true, there are many instances where predators attack a badger because they may be hunting for the same prey, and see them as a territorial threat.
Badgers have attacking skills that can sometimes scare off predators. With sharp claws and ultra-fast reflexes, badgers are capable of returning any danger that is posed to them. For many predators, an attack against a badger is too risky and deterrence is one of the main reasons that badgers can avoid predators.