Report Abstract


Habitat Associations of American Badge rs in Southeast British Columbia


Apps, Clayton, Newhouse, Nancy, Kinley, Trevor




American badgers are considered endangered in British Columbia due to habitat loss and unsustainable human-caused mortality. To better understand the nature and severity of human impacts, and to promote conservation planning, we described and modeled badger habitat relationships. At two spatial scales, we analyzed selection by 12 radio-implanted, resident badgers for 52 variables of soil composition, forest overstory, land cover, vegetation productivity, terrain, and human influence. Habitat selection was consistent for 31 variables at the broad scale. Soil parent material associations were positive with glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial, and negative with colluvial. Soil order associations were positive with brunisols and regosols and negative with podzols and luvisols. Association with fine sandy-loam texture was positive. Badgers were negatively associated with forested habitats and positively associated with open range, agricultural or cultivated habitats, and with highways and linear disturbances. Associations were negative with elevation, slope, terrain ruggedness, and both vegetation productivity and moisture. Badgers also exhibited habitat selection for 17 variables at the fine scale. Associations were positive with glaciofluvial soils, fine sandy-loam texture and well-drained soils. Associations were again negative with colluvial soils, forest cover, vegetation moisture, elevation and terrain ruggedness. Associations with open range and southern aspects were positive. Of variables considered, the linear combination of a subset could explain and predict seasonal habitat selection across scales. At this range extent, natural conditions may restrict badger occurrence, increasing their sensitivity to human factors that influence habitat quality and mortality risk.


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