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Tracking Badgers in Wisconsin — 6 Comments

  1. Thorough and fascinating report of your badger tracking adventure, Janet. The belly-dragging scent marking was particularly interesting. Question: Is there a theory as to why badgers do not commonly re-use their dens? Digging a new one each night seems like an energy-waster.

    • Good question, Susan, and I have not seen an explanation for that. But since they usually hunt by digging up small, burrowing mammals, I suspect they create many of their dens out of hunting digs.

      On reuse of dens, I’ve actually read conflicting reports. Some say they often reuse, others say it’s rare. It probably depends on what they’re eating. If they’re eating a lot of voles, then they’re not digging very deeply and probably return to their old burrow. Where they’re eating ground squirrels, then they have to dig deeply anyway, and probably just hang out there for a snooze after dinner.

      It could also depend on substrate. Where soil is compacted, they might be more likely to return to an old den.

  2. How do badgers handle severe winter weather, deep snow over and torrential downpours? How does this impact their burrowing?

    • Another good question. They go torpid in cold winter areas, using the same burrow for extended periods of time. Like bears, they do not truly hibernate, and emerge from time to time for a bite to eat. As for down pours, I suspect that the burrows are not simple, straight down tunnels, and water drains through soil before reaching the sleeping chamber.

  3. Pingback: Tracking Wolves in Wisconsin - Winterberry Wildlife

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