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Badgers in Nebraska

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nebraska badgers

Nebraska has a long and varied relationship with badgers. Badgers have been living in the state for centuries, and they remain an important part of Nebraska’s wildlife. While some see them as pests, they are also renowned for their burrowing abilities that help prepare the soil for croplands. Very few states can boast of this natural agricultural resource that is key to some staple crops like corn, wheat and alfalfa. They also benefit from the food sources limitedly provided by human presence, such as road-killed animals and discarded waste. 

badgers in nebraska

Badgers in Nebraska even play an important role in the local culture: during festivals throughout the state, many visitors dress in joyful badger costumes and perform lively dances to celebrate their importance to the state!

Habitat

Badgers are an interesting creature to see, and in Nebraska, they can be sighted all across the state. While their territory is likely to be limited to more heavily wooded areas, such as the southeastern portion, the open lands of central Kansas offer a more bountiful habitat for these omnivorous mammals. They dig deep burrows that can span long distances, creating a home for themselves underground.

Diet

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 in Nebraska 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 in open

Colour

In Nebraska, they usually have an overall reddish-brown to tan shade with white stripes and markings on their coats. You can also see that they have a black head with a mostly white face and throat. 

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 Nebraska 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. 

badger digging

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 Nebraska

Yes, there are badgers in Nebraska

How to trap badgers in Nebraska

Yes, they can be trapped during the trapping season as issued by the Nebraska Wildlife Authority How to live trap badgers in Perkins county Nebraska in winter

What do badgers eat in Nebraska?

Badgers in Nebraska eat insects, ground-nesting birds and their eggs, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.

References:

https://nhpbs.org/natureworks/americanbadger.htm

https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=icwdmhandbook#:~:text=Food%20Habits,Occasionally%20they%20eat%20vegetable%20matter.

Author Profile

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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