This report evaluates habitat requirements of the American badger according to parameters of soil texture, graminoid cover, slope, and proximity to roads. Badgers tend to prefer sandy loam and silty loam, medium and moderately coarse textured soils. In terms of graminoid coverage, badgers generally prefer open grassland habitat, but can also be found in agriculturally dominated landscapes containing isolated pockets of Richardson 's ground squirrel colonies. Graminoid coverage of 23% was chosen as the minimum requirement for suitable badger habitat. As slope increases, habitat suitability decreases to a point at which the likelihood of badgers existing there (i.e. cliffs and badlands) is extremely low to nil. After examining the coarse data used for mapping, a slope of ~ 15 degrees was determined to be the most representative of suitable American badger habitat in the Milk River Basin. In general, habitat further away from main roads which contain ground squirrels and open grassland are the most beneficial for badgers. The degree to roads affected badger populations depended upon the road type.
Conclusions: In general, habitat further away from main roads which contain ground squirrels and open grassland are the most beneficial for badgers. The degree to roads affected badger populations depended upon the road type. *Note that this study generated landscape level models with coarse variables, and the thresholds and values used may not be directly applicable to other areas or for site-specific analysis.
Thresholds/Learnings: Graminoid cover must be at least 23% in order to satisfy habitat requirements of the American badger*.