狗獾Asian Badger

1. 分类TaxonomyIUCN




狗獾Meles leucurusHodgson1847),英文名Asian Badger

2. 保护级别Conservation Assessment


Beneficial, ecologically important and scientifically valuable wildlife of China


Least Concerned species on IUCN Red List

3. 形态特征Physical Description



The badger is 50-90 cm long, with a tail 11.5-20.5 cm long and a weight of 3.5-17 kg.

Badger has a stocky body, short tailthick and short neck, short and strong  limbs. The toes of the front and back feet are with black-brownthick and long claws, and the claws of the front feet are longer than that of the back feet, which is conducive to digging. Near the anus there is a gland sac, secreting smelly fluid. It has a conical head and a protruding snout. The badger's throat, neck, chest, abdomen and limbs are black. Hair on back and body side is sand yellow to gray. The badger's bare nose is black, and the part between the nose and the upper lip is covered with short hair. Badger has a distinctive facial pattern, with long, narrow black transverse stripes through eyethat make its cheeks appear whiter than those of the hog-nosed badger (Fig. 1, 2)Some badgers show a relatively light fur color on the back and sides, and some even shows a nearly whole white body coloration.


1. 狗獾实体图(作者David Blank,来源Animal Diversity Web

Figure 1. Badger (contributor: David Blank, origin: Animal Diversity Web )


2. 狗獾面部示意图(作者David Blank,来源Animal Diversity Web

Figure 2. The face of badger (contributor: David Blank ; origin: Animal Diversity Web)


4. 地理分布



The range of the badger covers a large area of East Asia and extends east-west into Central Asia and the Far East, including Russia, China, Mongolia, the Korean Peninsula, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (Fig. 3).

In China, the badger is widely distributed from the northeast and north areas to east, central area, southwest (Hengduan Mountain area), eastern and northern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, central and northwest Xinjiang and western area. It is found in all provinces and regions of the mainland except Taiwan and Hainan.


3. 狗獾世界范围地理分布图(来源IUCN

Figure 3. Geographic range of Asian badger around the world (origin: IUCN)


5. 栖息环境Habitat


Badges can inhabit both forests and open areas, including deciduous forest,  mixed forest, coniferous forest, habitat with river, agricultural land, grassland and  semi-desert. It is sometimes found in the suburb area.

6. 生活习性Ecology



Badger likes to excrete in a “public toilet”. They are observed to often choose a flat, less vegetated site. Before excreting, they will dig a pit and use it for a few daysforming a dung heap. It is generally believed that the dung heaps act as marks for territory

Because the badgers usually are active at night, their eyesight is poor, and their smell is the main way to collect information. 

6.1 食物Food Habits


Badgers are omnivorous animals that forage a wide range of food, among which there are more animal food than plant-based food. Their food includes insects,  invertebrates (e.g., earthworms), reptiles, amphibians, rabbits and rodents, roots, and large fungi.

6.2 社群Sociality


They usually live in groups of families, digging complex underground burrow systems with multiple chambers. A family group usually consists of one alpha female, one alpha male and dozens of other badgers.

6.3 领域Home Range



Badgers are territorial, and the area the group live is called home range.  Badgers in the same social group usually forage in the same home range, and intraspecial competition occurs only when food is scarce. The result of competition is usually that young or low-ranking badgers are forced to leave the family territory and seek new habitats. Each family of badgers occupies a home range with one or more burrows and feeding grounds connected by paths.

 Badgers live in burrows and spend almost half their lives in caves. They spend a lot of time and energy building burrows as a place to sleep, roost, breed and hide from predators, so burrows are essential to their survival. Badger burrows are not easily occupied either by other animals or by members of other family groups of the same species. Usually the cave is large, 2-3 meters above the ground, with a diameter about 0.5 meters and a length about 10 meters. The cave has many entrances, passageways and rooms.

6.4 节律Rhythm


The badgers go out of burrows and forage at night, and hide in the cave during the day. Its observed that the badgers are most active at 4:00-5:00 in the morning and 18:00 at dusk. There is no significant difference in the rhythm of the adult male and female badgers, but there is between them and the sub-adults. Sub-adults active time is about two hours less than the adults.

6.5 移动Moving Method


The badger's toes are half plantar, with five toes. When walking, the left hind foot overlaps with the left forefoot, and the right hind foot overlaps with the right forefoot. Footprints left after rain, in mud or snow are usually more obvious.

7. 繁殖Reproduction


Badgers generally reach sexual maturity at 2 years old,‚but females may mature earlier in areas where food is abundant. Badgers mate from December to early January in winter, and the female gives birth to one litter every year, with a litter size of 1-5 and an average of 2-3.

8. 生态系统中作用Ecosystem Role



As predators, badgers consume the secondary productivity of the ecosystem and act as secondary consumers in the ecosystem. Badgers play an important role in maintaining ecosystem balance and stability, as well as species diversity.

Badgers live in caves and are weak in migration. Once the caveare destroyed, they cannot survive. Unlike birds and other animals, they have a hard time recovering even after their habitat has been restored. And the current wild population number of badgers is still declining, if not timely protection, badgers may become extinct in many areas. Therefore, the protection of badger is not only a requirement to maintain the normal operation of regional ecosystem, but also an important task to protect the integrity of global biodiversity.