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Badgers in Michigan

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badgers in open

Michigan is home to a wide variety of species including one that may not be as well known- the American badger. Badgers are found throughout much of the country, but Michigan is unique for being one of the few places with an abundance of them. These animals are primarily nocturnal, using their sharp claws and powerful jaws to burrow into the ground to make their homes. 

badger in Michigan

Habitat

In Michigan, their habitat consists of open grasslands or meadows, often located at the edge of woodlands. They are nocturnal in nature and spend most of their days sleeping in underground tunnels or burrows so they are difficult to spot. When active, badger behaviour can range from playful antics to aggressive protection of their territory.

Diet

Badgers in Michigan 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.

badger on rocks

Colour

Badgers in Michigan vary in colour depending on the region of the state. In northern Michigan, badger coats are mostly dark brown or sometimes grey. In southern Michigan, their coat is topped with a reddish-brown hue that can vary in intensity. Most of them have white stripes on their face. 

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 in Michigan 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 Michigan?

Yes, they can be found throughout the state. 

Are there honey badgers in Michigan?

No, there are no honey badgers in Michigan.

Are there badgers in Upper Michigan?

Yes, badgers can be found throughout the state including upper Michigan. 

Are there badgers in Northern Michigan?

Yes, badgers can be found throughout the state including Northern Michigan.

References:

https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/dnr/Documents/LED/digests/michigan_fur_harvester_digest.pdf?rev=487c5f40660344b6a6904c4e0de8e8fe

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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