Where Do Badgers Live?


where-do-badgers-live

Are you curious about whether or not you live near a region where badgers live? We are going to explore all of the different locations where you might find a badger and explain how large their specific territories may be for various purposes, including hunting and breeding.

Badgers currently have a stable population in North America and Europe. They prefer grasslands, so most badgers will be found in that type of region. 

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From a territorial perspective, badgers can be found all over the North American continent. Starting from the west coast and working eastbound, badgers can be found in California, Oregon, and Idaho. They are found in all of the western states, and can even be found as far east as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. 

Badgers can be found in some southern regions of Canada. It’s not uncommon to find badgers in Europe as well. It’s currently believed that there are hundreds of thousands of badgers currently existing on the European continent in 2021. 

If you go beyond the territory and take a look at the types of environments that badgers prefer to live in, then you’ll notice that they like grassland environments that have a ton of adjacent rodents to support their diet. We’ll continue exploring their preferred diet and highlight some of the attributes that help them survive in these selective regions. 

Where Do Badgers Live | Badger Territories

Let’s talk a little bit about how a badger establishes a local ‘territory’. On average, they establish a local territory that is approximately 175 acres in size, this is also known as their home range. They can be smaller or larger depending on local conditions and badgers can expand their local territory when they are looking for a mate. 

They particularly look for regions within their territory where they can successfully hunt. Badgers love to dig for rodents and may look, specifically, for areas that have a prosperous amount of rodents, including weasels, gophers, and other similar prey for badgers. 

It’s important to remember that badgers are generally considered to be a nocturnal animal, which means that they generally can only be found roaming the wilderness at night. Some badgers are willing to roam during the daytime if they do not feel threatened in their environment.

Like most wild animals, badgers want to live in a region that gives them the best chance to survive. They need to have a sufficient diet while also managing their local predatorial risks and environmental hazards. Badgers have the natural attributes to balance all of these important factors and the simple solution usually leads to grassland environments across the North American continent. 

See our article for Identifying a Badger

Do Badgers Live Underground?

Badgers live in burrows that they dig, called setts. Their setts are scattered throughout their home range, having up to  7-8 of them. These are also called earths and dens. Their burrows are like chambers that connect underground.

They usually have a home sett, where they spend a lot of their time. However, the other setts can be found nearby within their territory and home range. The badgers also sleep in these tunnels. They will bring in dried grass and straw to make bedding somewhere inside of the sett.

A Connection To Wisconsin

Wisconsin is about as far east in North America that you can go and still find a badger, although some may now exist even further east as regional habitats change. One interesting fact that many people might not know is that Wisconsin named the badger as their official state animal back in the 1950s. Source.

In addition, badgers are not allowed to be hunted in Wisconsin. Similar protection towards badgers is not provided in several other states. Interestingly, badgers aren’t believed to have a very significant portion of their population in Wisconsin, yet the state still has a significant historical connection with them. 

Are Badgers Adaptable To Their Environment?

This is an important question to ask when evaluating nearly any type of animal that lives in the wilderness. Badgers are capable of adapting to their environment, but they do have preferences.

They generally want to live in an environment that is favorable to their preferred diet. Badgers love eating rodents but will occasionally settle for insects or even birds. They have traits that are favorable to digging, which is why they spend so much time digging for their next meal. 

Badgers often look for dry regions and territories that have open grasslands. While they are adaptable, they can also be quite specific on the type of environment that they prefer to live in. Badgers are commonly considered solitary nocturnal animals, but some badgers prefer to live socially within the same territory. Source.

Which State Has The Most Badgers?

It’s nearly impossible to determine exactly which state has the largest local badger population, but there are some ways to make this calculation. It is well documented that badgers primarily live in the ‘Great Plains’ of the North American continent. 

This means that states like Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska could be at the top of the list. Based on the fact that Texas is the second-largest state in the United States, it seems likely that a plurality of America’s badger population would live in ‘The Lone Star State’.  I live in Texas and have spotted badgers a few times.

What States Do Badgers Live In

Because the badger population spreads so wide, we have created this list of states that are home to badgers. This may not be a complete list, but at least all of these states have had reports of badger populations.

States with badgers:

  • Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

These are just some of the states where they have found evidence of badger populations. With the landscape constantly changing, I wouldn’t be surprised if badgers adapted into urban areas or into areas where they have been limited.

Badger Home Range Size and Migration

We have explored a lot of important information about badgers in this guide, especially relating to their preferred regions and territories. Badgers are adaptable and are willing to live in local territories upwards of 175 acres in total size.

They migrate based on local conditions and as mentioned above, will make every effort to find dry grasslands with a local rodent population that supplements their preferred diet. They primarily live in the ‘Great Plains’, but they can be found in several other regions as well. 

Conclusion

If you spent a little bit of time reading through each of the sections above, you would have learned several additional interesting facts about badgers and the type of lifestyle that they are capable of living in the wilderness.

Badgers are fascinating wild animals that have survival instincts that allow them to prosper for many years. They are known for being resilient and tenacious, which happen to be two very important traits for surviving in the wilderness, wherever they may live.

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an outdoorsman who loves spending time in nature, working on ranches in Texas, and observing wildlife.

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