Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Asian badger is found in Russia (from the Volga River through Siberia) through Middle Asia, Mongolia, China, to DPR Korea and Republic of Korea (Wozencraft 2005). The boundary between distribution ranges of European M. meles and Asian badger M. leucurus is the Volga River (up to the Middle Volga). M. meles is distributed west of the Volga River, while M. leucurus is distributed from the Volga River to the east. The only locality of Asian badger distribution on the right bank of Volga River is the Zhiguli Nature Reserve (Abramov and Vekhnik, 2003). The Asian badger is widely distributed in the Urals and area easttward of the Ural Mountains. The sympatric zone between two badger species is country between the upper Volga and Kama rivers (Abramov et al., 2003). Corbet and Hill (1992) mapped occurrence into northern Lao PDR, but there is no evidence for it occurring there (Duckworth 1997) and this is assumed to have been in error. The species is found from sea level to 2,500 m in Tian Shen Mountains, potentially higher in Tibetian Plateau up to over 4,000 m.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Asian badger is similar to the European badger. It prefers deciduous woods with clearings, or open pastureland with small patches of woodland, but is also found in mixed and coniferous woodland, scrub, suburban areas, steppe and semi-deserts.

This species is an opportunistic forager with an omnivorous diet, including fruit, nuts, bulbs, tubers, acorns, and cereal crops. It also consumes a variety of invertebrates (especially earthworms), wasp and bee nests, birds' eggs, carrion, and live vertebrate prey such as mice, voles, hedgehogs and mole. In the northern parts of its range the species hibernates during the winter months.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Abramov, A. & Wozencraft, C.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
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Population

Population
The Asian badger is widespread and common.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The Asian badger is hunted legally in China, Russia and Mongolia, as well as illegally within protected areas in China. There is an established hunting season in Russia, usually from August to November; the hunting is limited and licensed (Abramov pers. comm. 2006)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The Asian badger is listed as Critically Endangered under criteria A2cd on the Chinese Red List (China Species Information Service 2007). The China Red List regards M. leucurus as occurring only in Tibet while the populations elsewhere in the country are treated as M. meles and are Near Threatened. According to Wozencraft (2005), only M. leucurus occurs in China and hence the existing Red Listing cannot be correct. Further studies are required to clarify this situation and accurately assess threat status in the region. The species is found in many protected areas throughout its range.
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Wikipedia

Asian badger

The Asian badger (Meles leucurus), also known as the sand badger is a species of badger native to China, Kazakhstan, the Korean Peninsula and Russia.

Description[edit]

Comparative illustration of European badger (top), Asian badger (centre) and Japanese badger (bottom)

Asian badgers are mostly lighter in colour than European badgers, though some forms may closely approach the former species in colour, if not darker, with smudges of ocherous and brownish highlights. The flanks are lighter than the middle of the back, and the facial stripes are usually brown rather than black. Unlike the facial stripes of European badgers, those of Asian badgers narrow behind their eyes and extend above the ears. The white parts of the head are usually dirtier in colour than those of European badgers. The light stripe passing along the top of the head between the two stripes is relatively short and narrow. They are generally smaller than their European cousins, and have relatively longer upper molars.[3]

Subspecies[edit]

Five subspecies are recognised.[4]

SubspeciesTrinomial authorityDescriptionRangeSynonyms
Common sand badger
Meles leucurus leucurus
Hodgson, 1847
  • blanfordi (Matschie, 1907)
  • chinensis (Gray, 1868)
  • hanensis (Matschie, 1907)
  • leptorhynchus (Milne-Edwards, 1867)
  • siningensis (Matschie, 1907)
  • tsingtauensis (Matschie, 1907)
Amur badger
Meles leucurus amurensis
Schrenck, 1859The darkest coloured and smallest subspecies. The facial stripes extend above the ears, and are black or blackish-brown in colour. The entire area between the stripes and cheeks are dirty-greyish brown, as opposed to white. The colour can be so dark, that the stripes are almost indistinguishable. The back is greyish-brown with silver highlights. The pelage itself is soft, but is lacking in wool. The skull is small, smooth and has weakly developed projections. It lacks first premolars. Body length is 60–70 centimetres (24–28 in)[5]Ussuri, Priamurye, Greater Khingan and Korean Peninsulamelanogenys (J. A. Allen, 1913)

schrenkii (Nehring, 1891)

Kazakh badger
Meles leucurus arenarius
Satunin, 1895A moderately sized subspecies, being intermediate in size between Meles m. meles and Meles m. canascens. Its colour is lighter and paler than its northern cousins, with less prominent facial stripes. Its pelage is coarse and bristly, and has scarce underfur. Boars grow to 70–78 centimetres (28–31 in) in body length, while sows grow to 61–70 centimetres (24–28 in). Boars weigh 7.8–8.3 kilograms (17–18 lb) in March–May, and 5.6–7 kilograms (12–15 lb) in March–June[6]Southeastern Volga, most of Kazakhstan (excepting the northern and montane parts), the Middle Asian plains (excepting the regions occupied by Meles m. canascens and Meles m. severzovi)
Siberian badger
Meles leucurus sibiricus
Kastschenko, 1900A moderately sized subspecies, being intermediate in size between Meles m. meles and Meles m. canascens. The general colour tone of the back is light grey, usually with yellowish or straw coloured highlights. The facial stripes are brownish-black to tawny black. The pelage is long and soft with a dense undercoat. Boars grow to 65.7–75 centimetres (25.9–30 in) in body length, while sows grow to 62–69.2 centimetres (24–27.2 in). Boars weigh 10–13.6 kilograms (22–30.0 lb)[7]Siberia, including Transbaikalia and Altai, northern Kazakhstan and probably the eastern Volga
  • aberrans (Stroganov, 1962)
  • altaicus (Kastschenko, 1902)
  • enisseyensis (Petrov, 1953)
  • eversmanni (Petrov, 1953)
  • raddei (Kastschenko, 1902)
Tien Shan badger
Meles leucurus tianschanensis
Hoyningen-Huene, 1910A moderately sized subspecies, with a somewhat darker pelt than Meles l. arenarius and a less developed yellow sheen. The fur is longer, denser and fluffier[6]Northern Tien Shantalassicus (Ognev, 1931)

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Asian badgers have a large range including the southern portion of Russia east of the Urals, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and Korea. The species can be found within areas of high elevation (perhaps up to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft)) in the Ural Mountains, the Tian Shan mountains, and the Tibetan Plateau. The ranges of Asian and European badgers are separated in places by the Volga River. Asian badgers prefer open deciduous woodland and adjacent pastureland, but also inhabit coniferous and mixed woodlands, scrub and steppe. They are sometimes found in suburban areas.[1]

Hunting[edit]

Asian badgers are legally hunted in China, Russia and Mongolia, as well as illegally within protected areas in China. Russia's established badger hunting season, usually takes place from August to November.[1]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Abramov, A. & Wozencraft, C. (2008). "Meles leucurus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed). Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  3. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1251
  4. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  5. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1260–1262
  6. ^ a b Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1257–1258
  7. ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1256–1257

Bibliography[edit]

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