Southern Ontario is home to a small population of American Badgers (Taxidea taxus subspecies "jacksoni"). These rare, native carnivores are members of the weasel family and are among the most elusive animals in the province! They are mostly active by night, tend to avoid people, and wander over large areas. In fact a single badger's territory can easily be several thousand acres! They are opportunistic carnivores, and feed on a variety of small animals, such as groundhogs (also known as woodchucks or gophers), rabbits, mice, chipmunks, frogs, turtle eggs, and insects. They hunt along the weedy and grassy edges of fields, forests, and meadows, and spend most of their days underground.
It is estimated that there are fewer than 200 adult badgers in Ontario, mostly in the counties along the north shore of Lake Erie. Because of this, badgers were given legal protection as an endangered species in 2001. However, we know very little about their basic ecology in the province which makes coming up with a successful conservation strategy very difficult. In 2009 the Ontario Badger Project was begun to answer some important questions about their population, distribution, the types of habitat and prey they prefer, main causes of mortality, and how they fit into the agricultural landscape of southern Ontario.
Click on the tabs at the very top of this page to navigate to different categories. Or if you wish to find a specific keyword, use the search function on the right-hand side of every page. Clicking on any of the pictures will bring you to the full-size original.
- Biology (General information about badgers, such as diet, habitat, behaviour, etc)
- Identification (What does a badger look like? How to differentiate between a badger and other animals? What does a badger burrow look like?)
- Research (Why are we studying badgers, and how do we do it?)
- Get Involved (You can help badgers by reporting a sighting, by volunteering, spreading the word about badgers, or by creating or improving badger habitat, )
- Landowners (Information about the relationship between agriculture and badgers, what to do if you have a badger on your property, as well information about how to create or improve badger habitat on your property)
- Links & Resources (Links to other badger resources, references, and contact information for many of our partners)