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