Badgers in Arkansas are fascinating animals, but most people don’t even realize they exist in the state! Found throughout the mid-north regions of the state, their burrowing lifestyle helps them to survive. They have stout bodies with powerful digging claws on their feet that can dig tunnels up to 22 m long and over 2 m underground. Despite their sleeping habits, badgers are usually active during twilight and nighttime hours when they search for food such as insects, amphibians, rodents, and reptiles.
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Badgers are often found in the wild across Arkansas, from its countryside to its city downtowns. Most notably, badger habitats include open spaces like grasslands and pastures, as well as dense brush and wooded areas. They can also be seen seeking shelter near abandoned buildings or rock piles. Badgers tend to prefer undisturbed natural places far away from human settlements, so they can find enough food without being disturbed by people.
Badgers are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals to get their nutrients. Their diet consists of insects, small animals like rodents, birds, eggs and reptiles, as well as a variety of plant matter such as fruits, roots, tubers and grasses. Badgers also enjoy a range of other food items like earthworms and even deer carcasses they come across in the wild. To hunt effectively in their nocturnal lifestyle, badgers have strong front claws and sharp teeth which they use to take down their prey. All these sources of food allow badgers to stay healthy in their diverse habitats throughout the world.
Badgers, recognizably identified by their distinctive black-and-white markings, have a unique colour pattern in Arkansas. They vary from shades of bay, yellowish grey, greyish brown and tawny depending on the season. This range of unique colours makes them particularly striking against the lush green foliage of woods and riverbanks throughout the region.
Size, Lifespan and Weight
Badgers are usually between 24-30 inches in length, have an average weight of roughly 15-25 pounds, and can live for up to 9 years in the wild. However, some badger species can live up to 16 years in captivity.
Badgers face numerous predators in the wild, but their main enemy is the fox. Studies have shown that foxes are responsible for up to 90% of badger cub mortality and can be particularly aggressive during the spring cubbing season. Other wild predators include coyotes, wolves, raptors such as golden eagles and red-tailed hawks, dogs, weasels and various snakes.
Badgers reproduce by mating with the opposite sex, typically after a courtship period.
When successful mating has occurred, the female badger will produce a litter of three or four cubs approximately seven weeks later. The cubs are born blind and helpless, relying entirely on the care and protection of their parents.
They are weaned between 6-8 weeks after birth and will live in the same den until they are independent enough to move out and find their own territory at around eight months of age. Although badgers can mate year-round, most litters are born during spring or early summer so that the cubs can take advantage of warmer weather and an abundance of food resources before winter arrives.
Are there badgers in Arkansas?
Yes, there are badgers in Arkansas preferably in open spaces like grasslands and pastures, as well as dense brush and wooded areas.
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