BADGER

The body length of this animal is 60–90 centimeters; its average weight is 24-28 kilos. It has a cumbersome build, strong paws and long claws designated for digging. The badger’s hair-coat is coarse with a small portion of soft fine hair. There is a scent gland at the root of the animal’s tail.

The badger is active at nights and in twilight. It has an acute sense of smell. The animal moves at a footpace or at a jogtrot, sometimes – at an awkward gallop. The badger feeds on animal and plant food: small rodents, insects and their maggots, frogs, reptiles, snowball, bird cherry, cowberry, pine nuts. In autumn months the badger eats big bugs and their maggots.

It is most common in hilly forest steppes and plain steppes dissected by creek and river valleys as well as in mid-mountain and piedmont landscapes with steppe hilly areas. The animal may often be seen in the Minusinsk kettle hole. The badger avoids plain taiga areas. It is very rare in a typical northern taiga; only individual species can be found at banks of large rivers and well-warmed up hills.

The badger’s burrows are very complex with many exits and entrances. The dormancy period lasts from the end of October until the end of March, very similar to bear and chipmunk. Whelping starts in April. The gestation lasts for 7-8 months. There are 2-4, sometimes 6 cubs in the brood.