A short, squat, medium-sized member of the weasel family, the badger is readily recognized by its grizzled gray, white, and black fur, cheek stripes, short legs, long claws, and the white stripe down its head and back. Adults may weigh from about 10 to up to 20 pounds and are approximately 20 inches long, with the tail adding another 4 to 6 inches in length. Widely distributed, the badger occurs almost anywhere in Arizona having ground suitable to dig in and excavate burrows.
Badgers feed primarily on burrowing rodents such as prairie dogs and ground squirrels but also take snakes, lizards, and insects on occasion. Mating in these usually solitary animals takes place in the summer, the young being born the following spring due to delayed implantation. Primarily a nocturnal animal, badgers are sometimes encountered during the early morning hours.
Hunting and Trapping History
Although the take of badger pelts averaged more than a 1,000 a year in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the number of these animals recently trapped in Arizona is virtually insignificant. A few badgers are undoubtedly also taken incidental to pursuing other game, but these numbers too are very small. In all, probably less than 50 badgers a year are taken in the state.