Badger is the common name for several stout carnivores. Most of them belong to the weasel family and are found in various parts of the world. Badgers are known for their burrowing ability and their species differ in size, habitat, and coloration. The common factor is that all of them are nocturnal and possess anal scent glands, powerful jaws, and large claws on their forefeet which they use for digging food and constructing underground dens.
Badgers are classified into six genera. The American badger, scientifically known as the Taxidea Taxus feeds mostly on rodents. However, the older species are omnivorous.
Badger – A Not So Easy Prey
Natural predation is rare on badgers, with the younger ones being most vulnerable. Talking about the primary predators of badgers, humans are major ones as they are responsible for habitat destruction, trapping, hunting, and poisoning them. Other reported predators of badgers are golden eagles, bobcats, cougars, and coyotes. Bears and grey wolves may, at times, hunt the young badgers.
Talking about the American badger, very few animals will mess with one. Sure, badgers are small in size with even large males less than or equal to 30 pounds. However, they are ferocious fighters armed with powerful jaws, sharp teeth, long sharp claws, and pungent musk glands. Moreover, badgers have loose-fitting coats that make it very difficult for predators to get a grasp on them. Badgers can not get bitten and clawed easily and can practically turn around in their own skin.
Topmost Predators Of Badger
1. Golden Eagle
Large birds of prey like the golden eagle sometimes attack immature badgers. If the quest happens between the two of them, an adult American badger will win. However, a young badger may fall prey to the eagle.
An adult American badger is much tougher than the golden eagle and its body can resist damage. For their weight, the members of the mustelid family (to which badger belongs) are tough creatures. Golden eagles can badger but in a certain scenario. Two golden eagles would be needed to kill one adult badger while one eagle could kill an immature badger with a lot of effort. This is because badgers have flexible forearms to defend themselves from above. Besides, as mentioned earlier, they have thick coats which makes it difficult for the eagle to penetrate its claws.
Timber-wolves do not generally kill badgers. They consume the latter in situations and places where the other prey animals are not in abundance. Badgers are usually preyed by wolves when they walk far away from their burrows. They can be also killed by this predator (timber-wolf) at their setts while breeding.
Timber-Wolves wait for the badger at a sett and attack suddenly. In such circumstances, the badger has no time to escape and is usually killed. This may, however, not be the case always. In situations where involving an adult badger and an immature wolf, the badger may persist and not escape.
Even if a young wolf confronts a badger, It would avoid attacking and eventually being injured. Besides, a big wound can be fatal for the wolf in warm weather.
On this, you might be wondering whether the wolverine could get through the badger’s defenses to kill him and if the badger even possesses the tools to kill a wolverine.
Well, a wolverine’s weaponry is formidable but it is not more than that of lions, leopards or hyenas. Powerful jaws and teeth are the strengths of wolverine however, it would have a very hard time getting through the badger’s hide. This would take hours and eventually the wolverine would not have the stamina to keep fighting the struggling badger – which would not give up till death.
Moreover, the badger’s teeth, although smaller than that of the wolverine can easily penetrate the latter’s hide. However, the badger would definitely not be able to kill the wolverine by simply biting it. There could be chances of the wolverine suffocating the badger by biting its throat. This, however, is highly unlikely because of the loose, thick hide of the badger. The most probable chances are that the badger would either rip off the wolverine’s genitalia – causing it to bleed to death, or both would die due to prolonged mutual mutilation.
4. Mountain Lions
Badgers are one of the most fearless animals on the block. Their little critters can take on hyenas, rhinos and even lions.
Lions usually maintain distance from badgers. There have been instances where it was observed that three badgers chased off seven lions from a kill. Moreover, badgers have armored skin, sharp teeth, and claws. Also, they are immune to poison and very smart creatures.
A cheetah or a leopard certainly could kill a badger as these wild cats are powerful, fast and have a deadly bite. However, they may usually avoid an animal (badger) that isn’t running away and poses a risk to their eyes and faces. Besides, a cheetah has less powerful jaws and is more wary of injury.
Badgers weigh up to 16kg and feature strong jaws and tough, loose skin. They are ferocious especially in circumstances where escape isn’t possible. Overall, badgers have great endurance. Predators generally avoid them because its real trouble to kill them. Predators tend to calculate the risk against calorific payoff and badgers are certainly too dangerous for the amount of food they provide.
I hope that this article on badger predators was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Animal Facts Page!