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Badgers in Virginia

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Badgers are one of the most unique and intriguing creatures native to parts of the United States, particularly areas like Virginia. Badgers are among the largest burrowing animals in the world, and they’ve been spotted all over Virginia due to their impressive digging skills. Since badgers mostly sleep during the day, they’re difficult to spot in their natural habitats. 

However, if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these elusive animals, you’ll be sure to notice them by their magnificently striped coats, which have become symbolic of this particular species. Here in Virginia, badger colonies can number anywhere from a few dozen up to several hundred individuals; these municipalities live together for mutual protection and comfort that allows for stronger familial bonds.

badgers in virginia

Habitat

Badgers inhabit a wide variety of biomes in Virginia, primarily lowlands, Wooded Hills and the Coastal Plain. These burrowing mammals are found in grasslands and forests, most commonly agricultural areas and open habitats with plenty of scrub or bushes to hide among. Badgers dig deep tunnels for their homes that often have multiple entrances, where they can sleep, mate and give birth to their young. 

Diet

Badgers in Virginia 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 Virginia 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 open

Colour

Virginia has the distinction of being home to two species of badgers – the American and European badgers. Both of these mammals feature a distinctive, black-and-white stripe pattern. The bold pattern of white fur around their heads is especially eye-catching, adding a splash of colour to any habitat they inhabit.

Size, Lifespan and Weight 

Badgers in Virginia 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 Virginia 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 cubs

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 Virginia?

Yes, Badgers are found in Virginia without a doubt.

Are there badgers in west Virginia?

No, there are no badgers in west Virginia. While American badgers are not native to the state, there are other members of the Mustelidae family living in West Virginia: the Clethrionomys happier, more commonly known as the Allegheny woodrat. They bear some resemblance to badgers in their shape because of their thick fur and short tails, so they could be considered “West Virginia Badgers” in a way, although they differ greatly in size and biochemistry.

Do badgers live in Virginia?

Yes, badgers live in Virginia 

Read our other Badgers blogs below:

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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