American  Badger (Taxidea taxus ssp. jacksoni)

Status in Canada: Endangered

Status in Ontario: Endangered

Status at SWCR: Rare

The American badger is best recognized by its distinct head patterning. Its range in Ontario is very restricted.

Quick Facts:

  • It is a member of the Weasel family.
  • It is perfectly adapted for digging, with long, stout front digging claws, and short, flattened “scooping” back claws.
  • It is estimated that fewer than 200 individuals remain in southwestern Ontario.
  • It is a nocturnal carnivore that with a diverse diet including many of the small mammals we consider pests: woodchucks (groundhogs), mice, and voles.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Habitat Loss/Fragmentation and Low Population densities: Badger populations are declining because of genetic isolation due to fragmentation and conversion of habitat; and individual mortality (road-mortality, trapping, attacks from domestic dogs, and incidental death during land development and farming operations).

Activities that can damage critical badger habitat include:

  1. Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
  2. Activities that eliminate patches of dense understory or reduce structural complexity on the forest floor: Natural succession and canopy closure, excessive deer browsing.
  3. Activities that interfere with understory shrubs, unauthorized plant collecting and off-trail ATV use.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Forest thinning activities
  • Invasive plant control
  • Prescribed burns

What you can do to help:

  • Follow the code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
  • Clean your boots, bicycle tires, or ATV before and after visiting the SWCR or other natural areas to avoid spreading invasive plant seeds.
  • Report sightings to the SWCR CC, or the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
  • Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

Ontario Species at Risk Profile


Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund