[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Don’t Badger Badger | 11-10-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Showers
Showers
54°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 19
1936 - Ida Evans, widow of Newhall First Presbyterian Rev. Wolcott Evans, dies at 71 [story]


Commentary by Linda Castro
| Thursday, Nov 10, 2016

LindaCastroThe American Badger (Taxidea taxus) is a North American badger that has a rather large range – from as far east as Ohio, into portions of Canada and Mexico and all of the western states.

The American badger has a flat body with short, stout legs and a triangular face with a long, pointed, tipped-up nose. It has shaggy brown or black fur with white stripes on its cheeks and one stripe running from its nose to the back of its head. It has small ears on the side of its head and long, sharp front claws. Badgers weigh between about eight and a half pounds to about 26 pounds and range from about 21-35 inches long.

The habitat of the American badger is highly variable. Badgers are found in relatively dry, open country with little vegetation such as open plains, prairies, dry grasslands and deserts. Their diet consists mostly of small rodents such as squirrels, rats, mice and gophers. They also eat snakes, birds and reptiles. They dig their prey out of the ground with their front claws. Badgers will sometimes dig into the burrow of an animal and wait for it to return.

Badgers live in burrows and dens. Burrows can be as large as 32 feet long and about 10 feet deep. They usually use several different dens and burrows and will sometimes move to different ones each day, except when they have babies. Badger burrows typically have one entrance with a pile of dirt next to it. When badgers feel threatened, they typically move back into their den or burrow and bare their teeth and claws. They may then plug the hole to their burrow.

badger03Badgers are primarily nocturnal. They generally forage at night and remain underground during the day. They are expert diggers. Their powerful legs enable them to dig with great speed, allowing them to disappear from sight very quickly.

There are stories of badgers emerging from holes they have dug through blacktopped pavement and two-inch thick concrete. While those stories may be tall tales, when one witnesses the strength of a badger’s legs and claws, you want to believe the stories.

Badgers also have a third eyelid, known as a nictitating membrane, which protects their eyes from soil. They have poor eyesight but have acute hearing and sense of smell.

badger02Badgers do not hibernate, but instead reduce above-ground activity by entering a state of torpor (decreased physiological activity, usually by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate) in times of bad weather, and they survive on fat reserves when prey is scarce.

Badgers are solitary animals except during breeding season (July and August). A female can have a litter of one to five young which are usually born in March. The young are weaned by the time they are 8 weeks old; they leave their mother when they are about 5 or 6 months old.

badger01Badgers have strong neck muscles and thick, loose fur, which helps them to turn on their predators and bite and claw them. When badgers are attacked, they hiss, growl, squeal and snarl and release an unpleasant musk that drives many predators away. The principal predators of badgers are humans who are responsible for habitat destruction, trapping, hunting, automobile fatalities and poisoning. Other reported predators include golden eagles, bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes.

The average life span of a badger is four to 10 years in the wild.

While badgers might appear to be cute and cuddly, they are anything but. There is a reason we use the word “badger” to mean “persistently bother” or annoy someone. If you come across a badger or a burrow, it is best to leave it alone unless you want to find out first-hand how sharp and strong its teeth and claws are.

 

Linda Castro is a nature enthusiast and animal lover.  She is the Desert Field Organizer for the California Wilderness Coalition and serves on the board of the SCV-based Community Hiking Club.  Her commentaries relate to California’s deserts.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

5 Comments

  1. Chad Nicholas Hildebrand

  2. Dena says:

    My Dachshunds aren’t worried. They were built to take them on 😎

  3. Ken Clark Ken Clark says:

    First badger I ever saw was 10 years ago at the lower lake at Castaic. Never knew their range extended here. It was a shock! I hope to see one again.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Feb 17, 2017
A number of women have recently commented to me, wondering what the women’s marches are all about, especially here in America, the most privileged place on Earth. We’re told it’s about women’s rights and apparently not having enough of them, whatever that means in this day in age.
Thursday, Feb 16, 2017
About an hour north of Baker along Highway 127 lies the town of Shoshone. There are several interesting things to see and visit in this tiny town with a population of 31.
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017
The goal of Medicare's Five-Star Quality Rating System is to help people distinguish between higher- and lower-performing nursing homes. We also want to help nursing homes identify problem areas and improve their quality.
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017
In contrast to the dams, the landfill is a real and present danger, with documented violations of rules set up to protect our neighborhoods.
Monday, Feb 6, 2017
To justify requests for specific patient care, physicians are forced to have “peer-to-peer” phone discussions with doctors employed by insurance companies, workers’ comp and HMOs. These doctors make decisions based on controlling costs, which is in the financial interest of the for-profit agencies they serve but not necessarily in the best interest of the patient.
Sunday, Feb 5, 2017
I have a cat, Titus, who is half Asian Leopard Cat, and half African Savannah. Needless to say, he is a handful. Recently, he discovered that raccoons come into our yard at night and party. They swipe my vegetables right off the plants, the fruit from the trees and munch out all night long.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1936 - Ida Evans, widow of Newhall First Presbyterian Rev. Wolcott Evans, dies at 71 [story]
1955 - Actor and nightclub owner Ace Cain incorporates the Rocky Springs Country Club in Sand Canyon [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, one of the season's biggest storms hits SCV. Plus, see how SkyBlue Mesa students are making friends. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, February 17, 2017
Representative Steve Knight, CA-25, reintroduced a bill on Thursday that would help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), chronic pain, and opiate addiction.
Knight Reintroduces No Hero Left Untreated Act
Rep. Steve Knight, CA-25, cosponsored a bill introduced this week that would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals based on a pre-existing medical condition in the event that portions of the Affordable Care Act are repealed.
Knight Cosponsors Bill to Protect People with Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Friday's storm is pushing strong winds through the valley at gusts estimated between 50 and 80 MPH. There are multiple power lines down in Newhall and Canyon Country near Newhall Avenue, Walnut Street, Deeptree Avenue, Apple Street and Canerwell Street. If you see downed power lines stay away and call 9-1-1.
Downed Power Lines Reported in Newhall, Canyon Country
Over the next few hours, the rainfall intensity is expected to increase. Stay away from washes and rivers and avoid driving through canyons, where there is a high possibility of rock and debris flows.
Flash Flood Advisory, High Wind Warnings Still in Effect
Friday, Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, issued a statement on the introduction of Senate Bill 634, a measure which will establish a new water district in the Santa Clarita area.
Wilk Introduces Valley-Wide Water Sustainability Plan
The Master's University had visiting Vanguard right where it wanted Thursday afternoon with the GSAC's best pitching staff protecting a two-run lead after six innings.
Vanguard Nine Rallies Past Mustangs
The Master’s University women’s basketball team beat William Jessup University 70-47 Thursday evening on Bross Court.
Lady Mustangs Basketball Trample Warriors
The Master’s University men’s basketball team’s outstanding 2016-17 campaign continued Thursday night with the 18th-ranked Mustangs beating the William Jessup University Warriors 103-93 on Bross Court.
Mustangs Men’s Basketball Outlast Warriors
Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the Eastern District of New York in Darweesh v. Trump, a case involving two visa holders who were detained by officers and denied entry at John F. Kennedy International Airport due to the Trump Administration’s travel ban despite having demonstrated considerable loyalty to the United States.
A.G. Becerra Joins in on Amicus Brief in Darweesh v. Trump Case
America’s Job Center of California invites resident to connect with new employers, find a new career path or get back into the workforce by attending the Hiring Fest on Friday, February 24, 2017, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the College of the Canyons University Center, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road.
Hiring Fest Held by America’s Job Center to Help Residents Find Jobs
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series, presented by Galpin Subaru, will kick off its 2017 March through October season on Thursday, March 2, 2017 with a fresh lineup of events on Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
Thursdays@Newhall is Back for 2017 Season
With the series of winter storms forecast throughout Los Angeles County and the storm currently hitting the Santa Clarita Valley, Los Angeles County residents are encouraged to continue being vigilant of in watching out for flooding, mudslides, and to be aware of any issues that may occur because of the storm. L.A. County officials are offering more tips to ensure the safety of L.A. County residents.
General Safety, Motorist Safety in Light of Heavy Storms
The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with The Friends of Hart Park, presents its “Sixth Annual Artisan Row Home Arts and Crafts Show,” with both handmade and commercial art and crafts.
May 20-21: Sixth Annual Artisan Row Home Arts and Crafts Show
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean C. Logan reminds eligible Los Angeles County voters that the deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, February 21. Consolidated Municipal and Special Elections take place on March 7, 2017.
L.A. County Voters Need to Register to Vote by February 21
Various city of Santa Clarita facilities will be closed in observance of President's Day on February 20.
City of Santa Clarita President’s Day Hours
Princess Cruises, the number 1 cruise line in Alaska, announced today that Island Princess will be the fourth cruise ship to feature the Ocean Medallion™, debuting May 16, 2018 for the Alaska season.
Princess Cruises Announces Fourth Ship to Debut Medallion Class Ocean Vacations
Learn about SCVi Charter school during a public informational evening that will give an overview of SCVi's Upper Charter School program.
Feb. 22: Public Informational Evening on SCVi’s Upper Charter School Program
A number of women have recently commented to me, wondering what the women’s marches are all about, especially here in America, the most privileged place on Earth. We’re told it’s about women’s rights and apparently not having enough of them, whatever that means in this day in age.
Women Who Can’t March | Commentary by Betty Arenson
1949 - Short-lived oil drilling operation on Newhall's Arcadia Street ends [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a major storm is coming -- what you need to know. Plus, Hart District students get a lesson in dining. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, February 16, 2017
The Castaic Union School District board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. for closed session and 6:30 p.m. for open session in the Board Room at the CUSD District Office. Agenda topics includes school awards, the retirement of Dr. Victor Torres and public hearings.
Feb. 16: CUSD Board Meeting
A major storm is headed to the Santa Clarita Valley and the Southland, bringing concerns of flooding, mudslides, and putting residents in the Sand Fire on high alert.
Rainstorm On its Way to SCV, Projected to Begin Thursday Night
Jack’s Angels Foundation, a local charitable organization devoted to advocacy and research for DIPG, is celebrating the National DIPG Awareness Resolution introduced by Congressman Steve Knight, R-CA-25, in January in the US House of Representatives, H.Res.69.
Jack’s Angels Foundation Celebrates Knight’s National DIPG Awareness Resolution
A workshop to help participants establish a career strategy, network, create a resume, and finesse an interview is scheduled for the February LifeForward workshop hosted by Zonta Club of SCV.
Feb. 18: Zonta Club of SCV Hosts February LifeForward Workshop
College of the Canyons extended its winning streak to five games with a 6-3 road win vs. Allan Hancock College on Wednesday.
Canyons Wins Fifth Straight 6-3 vs. Allan Hancock
No. 13 College of the Canyons posted a pair of dominant shutout wins on Wednesday, blanking San Diego Mesa College 8-0 in both contests of a doubleheader to improve to 5-0 on the season.
No. 13 Canyons Sweeps Doubleheader from San Diego Mesa
On February 16, Weingart Gallery at Occidental College hosts an opening reception for Waabanishimo: Miigaadan (She Dances Till Daylight: Fight It), the first solo show by visual artist and CalArts alumna Eve-Lauryn LaFountain (Art-Film/Video MFA 14).
Eve-Lauryn LaFountain’s First Solo Exhibit at Occidental College
Several Santa Clarita agencies are coming together for It Only Takes a Moment™, an eye-opening event centered around the free showing of Listen, a feature film that confronts the mental health crisis thousands of youth are facing today.
Feature Film ‘Listen’ to be Shown at Free Community Event
Evacuation notices have been issued to 180 homes in the Fish Fire community of Duarte for 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, and residents within the Sand Fire Burn Area of the Santa Clarita Valley are at a heightened state of alert.
Sand Canyon Residents on High Alert for Rain, Mudflow
The Castaic Lake Water Agency Planning and Engineering Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the Training Room at the Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant. Agenda topics include construction contracts, project budgets, improvement projects reports.
Feb. 23: CLWA Planning, Engineering Meeting
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect Friday morning through Saturday morning for Santa Clarita Valley. Strong winds are expected to hit between 50 to 80 mph during the storm.
Residential Advisory: Flash Flood Warning
Realtors helped close escrow on 123 single-family home sales throughout the Santa Clarita Valley during January.
Realtors Close Escrow on 123 Homes in January
Bouquet Canyon Road will be closed at 9 p.m. Thursday through at least Sunday afternoon due to rain in the area.
Feb. 16: Bouquet Canyon Road Closing at 9 p.m. Due to Storm