• Species: Badger.
• Scientific name: Taxidea taxus.
• Nicknames: None.
• Claim to fame: In Missouri, badgers have become one of the symbols of prairie habitat. Although not often seen because of their secretive nature and relatively scattered population, badgers can be found over much of the state – including here in the Ozarks.
Badgers are known for their digging ability and ferocity when cornered. Though few are trapped here, badgers are included in Missouri’s furbearer trapping season and are considered a game animal in this state. Badger fur is used to trim cloth coats and the animal’s white-tipped hairs are often glued amongst the plain black hairs of other long-haired pelts to imitate a silver fox. The badger is the state animal of Wisconsin.
• Species status: Badgers were probably never abundant in Missouri, but there’s little doubt a reduction of prairie habitat has further thinned this animal’s sparse numbers in the state. Badgers are extending their range to the east due to diminishing forested areas which has created more open habitat for the animal.