American Badger
Name: American Badger
Scientific Name: Taxidea taxus
Status: Endangered (not regulated) Provincially, Endangered Nationally
Details & Range Map: Royal Ontario Museum (R.O.M.)

There are more than 5,000 known species of mammals worldwide, with 218 species found in Canada. Ontario is home to 81 species of mammals.


Approximately 16% of these species are of provincial conservation concern. The Eastern Cougar is provincially Endangered (regulated under Ontario's Endangered Species Act) and American Badger is considered Endangered (currently not regulated under the ESA). Grey Fox, Wolverine, Polar Bear and Forest Dwelling Boreal Woodland Caribou are Threatened, Woodland Vole, Eastern Wolf and Eastern Mole are considered species of Special Concern.


According to the General Status of Species in Canada (2010), well over half (52 species) of Ontario's mammals are ranked provincially as secure. There are three mammals currently classified provincially at risk (Common Grey Fox, Wolverine and American Badger), two species may be at risk, with another nine species considered to be sensitive (species that are not believed to be at risk of immediate extirpation or extinction but may require special attention or protection to prevent them from becoming at risk). Seven species are exotic, that is, they have been introduced here from elsewhere and in many cases are associated with buildings or agricultural areas (e.g., House Mouse, Norway Rat and Cape Hare). In the General Status of Species in Canada (2010), ‘exotic’ refers to species that have been moved beyond their natural range as a result of human activity. Provincially, the term invasive (or invading) species is used to describe introduced species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy or society, including human health.


The most significant threats to terrestrial mammals are habitat loss and habitat changes. Other factors that might contribute to the loss or decline of populations of some species include environmental contaminants and, in some cases, over-harvesting.


For more information on mammals, see the list of species on the Natural Heritage Information Centre website.


For more information on Species at Risk designations and their current status, see the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) website.




Ron Rideout