The American badger is a member of the weasel family. This includes wolverines, skunks, minks, otters and martens. Its scientific name is taxidea taxus. It can be found from southwestern Canada to central Mexico.
The badger measures as long as 38 inches with a weight of up to 25lbs. An expert digger, they create complex burrows in which they live. They can dig so fast that they use this method to catch their main prey of prairie dogs and ground squirrels. They also eat insects, reptiles and birds. An extremely wary animal, the badger makes straight for its burrow at the first sign of danger. If cornered, they become savage fighters using their long claws as weapons and their thick skin as protection. The female produces up to five young in the spring. The young leave the nest in just a couple of months. In winter, the badger sleeps in a state of semi-hibernation. They are sometimes active on warm winter days. Badgers were once commercially exploited as their fur was used to make expensive feminine beauty products like makeup applicators and brushes. The only real danger to their populations come from human expansion into their living areas.