(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Asian badger, the scientific name Meles leucurus, also referred to as the sand badger, is a species of badger native to Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Korean Peninsula, and Russia. Asian Badgers are related in look to Eurasian badgers.

Asian Badger profile

Asian badgers occupy a various range of habitats. They are present in deciduous, coniferous, and combined forests, in addition to mountainous areas, steppes, semi-deserts, and tundra. In forested areas, they typically dig burrows on the south-facing slopes of ravines, the place the snow melts earlier.

They desire areas with well-drained soil. In steppe areas, they typically occupy gullies. They might burrow within the banks of coastal lakes, in addition, to close to the underside of sand dunes.

They all the time keep close to a water source. In the Caucasus Mountains, they range vertically from sea level to the alpine meadows.

Asian Badgers are omnivores and so they primarily feed on earthworms, bugs, frogs, birds, lizards, small mammals, nuts, fruit, eggs, and carrion.

Geographic Range

Asian badgers (Meles leucurus) range extensively all through the temperate areas of eastern Europe and Asia. Their range extends from eastern Russia to China and is bordered within the south by the Himalayas.

The western boundary of their range is the Ural-Volga area of Russia, alongside which, they’re sympatric with European badgers (Meles meles).

Asian Badger Characteristics

The Asian badger is generally lighter in color than the European badger, although some varieties might carefully strategy the previous in color, if not darker, with smudges of ocherous and brownish highlights.

The flanks are lighter than the center of the back, and the facial stripes are often brown moderately than black. The facial stripes slender behind the eyes and prolong above the ears.

The white components of the top are often dirtier in color than these of the European badger. The light stripe passing alongside the top of the top between the 2 stripes is comparatively quick and slender.

The Asian badger is usually smaller than the European badger and has comparatively longer higher molars. It seems to be the smallest of the three Meles badgers regardless of regional size variations, with the largest-bodied populations in Siberia.

Body mass sometimes ranges from 3.5 to 9 kg (7.7 to 19.8 lb) and size from 50 to 70 cm (20 to 28 in). The average weight of three adult males from Sobaeksan National Park was 6 kg (13 lb).

Asian Badger Distribution and habitat

Asian Badgers may be present in open deciduous woodlands, coniferous woodlands, combined woodlands, adjoining pastures, scrub, steppe, and generally in suburban areas. They have a big range that extends from the southern portion of Russia by Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Korea, and China.

The species may be discovered inside areas of high elevation (maybe as much as 4,000 meters (13,000 ft)) within the Ural Mountains, the Tian Shan mountains, and the Tibetan Plateau.

The ranges of Asian and European badgers are separated in locations by the Volga River. Asian badgers desire open deciduous woodland and adjoining pastureland, but in addition inhabit coniferous and combined woodlands, scrub, and steppe. They are generally present in suburban areas.

Asian Badger


Asian badgers are legally hunted in China, Russia, and Mongolia, in addition to illegally inside protected areas in China. Russia’s established badger searching season often takes place from August to November.


There is not any knowledge out there on the lifespan of M. leucurus within the wild or in captivity. Meles meles, an in-depth relative, might attain 15 years within the wild; nevertheless, it’s pretty uncommon for people to exceed 10 years. The oldest identified captive M. meles were 19 half years.

Asian Badger Behavior

Asian badgers are primarily nocturnal. They may be pretty gregarious, dwelling in communal setts (underground burrows) with a number of tunnels and entrances. In areas of restricted meal availability, the badgers are sometimes solitary.

Asian badgers typically hibernate in family teams, adults share dens with cubs born in the course of the earlier year. Yearlings and older single badgers occupy particular person dens.

Asian Badger Food Habits

Asian badgers are omnivorous and devour all kinds of meals, together with earthworms, bugs, mammals, reptiles, birds, frogs, mollusks, berries, pine nuts, and different plant materials.

Regional badger diet relies largely on availability. Throughout a lot of its range, earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) are the most typical meal source. Insects make up the vast majority of the Asian badger’s diet in more arid areas, similar to Mongolia.

A population on Bol’shoi Chukhtinskii Island in Russia might subsist largely on pine nuts. They have additionally been identified to prey on younger livestock.

Asian Badger Physical Description

Asian badgers have a stocky, considerably wedge-shaped body. Their limbs are quick, with sturdy elongated claws (22 to 26 mm) which are well-adapted for digging. The average size and mass of Asian badgers vary regionally.

Those present in Siberia are bigger than those from the far-Eastern part of the range. Their mass additionally varies all through the year, peaking within the fall before hibernation. Males are typically bigger, however, there may be variation within the degree of sexual dimorphism between totally different populations.

The pelage of Asian badgers is dense and coarse. They are typically grayish-silver with a white face and darkish brown or black stripes working over every eye. They exhibit a range of regional pelage coloration.

Specimens from Mongolia have a comparatively lighter coat, whereas these from the Amur area are notably darkish in color. In addition, mountain inhabitants are virtual all the time darker than these of the plains.

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Asian Badger

Asian Badger Reproduction

Asian badgers can mate year-round and fertilization can happen at any time, however, cubs are typically solely born between mid-January and mid-March. This is achieved by delayed implantation.

Badgers of the genus Meles give a start as soon as per year, often between mid-January and mid-March. Mating happens primarily within the spring. Mating and fertilization might happen all through the year, however, implantation is delayed. There is not any knowledge out there particular to M. leucurus.

Badgers of genus Meles present alloparental behavior, the place-associated people assist elevate the younger. These relations might chase the younger into the den when they’re threatened, or push back predators. There is not any knowledge out there for M. leucurus, particularly.

Asian Badger Communication

Badgers of the genus Meles have a comparatively high dependence of rod to cone cells. In addition, they have a tapetum that displays light back by the retina. These options support night vision.

The eyes of Mele’s badgers are comparatively small for nocturnal mammals. This signifies that eyesight could also be of much less significance to the animal than different senses. Meles badgers have a particularly nicely developed sense of odor. Scroll bones within the nasal cavity present a big floor space for sensory epithelia.

Little is thought about listening to in Meles badgers. They produce a big number of noises masking a large range of frequencies. These noises could also be helpful in communication.


Asian badger cubs could also be preyed upon by lynxes, wolves, and wolverines, the place their ranges overlap. Adult badgers should not be known to have predators.


Members of genus Meles are generally parasitized by fleas (Paraceras melis), lice (Trichodectes melis), and ticks (Ixodes), and to a lesser degree, mites. No particular information is out there for M. leucurus.

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