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Badgers in Iowa

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Badgers

Iowa is home to one of the most unique species of badgers. The American badger, a burrowing omnivore with an iconic striped tail, is native to Iowa and can perhaps be found in grasslands, farms and woodlands throughout the state. There are many things that make these elusive creatures so special; their burrowing capabilities, rock-crushing teeth, and nocturnal behaviour are all great sources of fascination.

badger in Iowa

Habitat

Badgers are an iconic species of Iowa, but many people may not know much about them. They live mostly in open prairies and related habitats, such as grassland openings and agricultural fields. They are widely distributed across the state and well into neighbouring Ohio, as well as throughout the Great Plains States to the west and south. 

Diet

Badgers in Iowa 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 Iowa

Colour

Badgers in Iowa typically have fur which gives them a distinct colour. It begins on their body with a yellowish cast, darkening to black in the midline and lightening to white at the tips. This creates a grey impression overall. The fascinating colouration of badgers is thought to provide them with excellent camouflage in their natural habitat, allowing these creatures to remain well-hidden from predators.

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. 

Predators

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. 

pair of badgers

Reproduction

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 Iowa?

Yes, there are badgers in Iowa

Are there American badgers in Iowa?

Yes, there are American Badgers in Iowa. 

References:

https://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/education/Classroom%20Resources/Factsheets/Mammals/badger.pdf

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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