Badgers may not be native to Florida, but that hasn’t stopped them from thriving in the Sunshine State! In fact, badger populations have steadily been growing since first being spotted in 1990. These fascinating mammals typically live in the drier areas on the state’s west coast and are known for their strong digging skills, helping them create underground burrows where they can take refuge from predators.
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The types of habitats that badgers in Florida favour include shrub-steppe, grassland, semi-desert and open forest areas. Moreover, these furry creatures require soils that “cooperate” with them as they dig their burrows. Badgers mainly rely on small mammals such as ground squirrels and pocket gophers as food sources.
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 in Florida has soft fur coat that is generally yellowish-grey, but they can sometimes be darker and almost black in some individuals. The scalp, back of the neck, and underside of the tail are white or cream-coloured. On its forehead, there are often dark brown stripes.
Size, Lifespan and Weight
Badgers in Florida 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 Florida?
Yes, there are badgers present in Florida
Do badgers live in Florida?
Yes, Badgers live in Florida in the drier areas on the state’s west coast
Are there honey badgers in Florida?
Yes, there are honey badgers in Florida. The Naples zoo has 3 honey badgers.
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