by Hunter Beeger
Badgers have returned once more to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.
It has been four years since the last sighting of these amazing creatures which add to the incredible amounts of biodiversity within the park. Our badgers are a specific subspecies of badger known as American Badgers (Taxidea taxus). These carnivores can live up to ten years. Their most distinctive features are their incredibly long foreclaws (up to 5 cm) and common head markings (a white line from nose to back of head). Adult American Badger can be anywhere from 60 – 75 (cm) or 23.5 – 29.5 (in) long, with male badgers typically being slightly larger than the female.
The American badger gives birth during the months of March and April. The newborn baby badgers remain underground until they are around six weeks old. Interesting fact: Did you know that the coyotes and badgers work in a mutualistic relationship? The badger digs underground, while the coyote waits on top for their prey. The badger then catches the prey that run from the coyote. This increases their hunting success rate.
The badgers we have on-site are believed to be a pair (with one assumed to a male due to his size difference.) They have been spotted cooperating with one another in order to hunt our excessive numbers of Richardson Ground Squirrels, which happen to be one of their main food sources. We also have reports of a third badger, possibly the offspring of the pair. However, this is unconfirmed.
You may spot the badgers along the paved path near the general store and the corrals. For more information, visit the Visitor Information Centre.
If you happen to get pictures of our badgers please send them our way!
Badgers can be quite confrontational, so it is important to be as quiet as possible if you see them. Please do not leave the trail.
Keep all pets on leash. These are wild animals and the species is known to be aggressive and territorial.