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Badgers are short-legged mammals in weasel family, Mustelidae. There are three subfamilies which are Mellivorinae (honey badger), Melinae (badger of Asia and Europe), and Taxideinae (the American badger). They are then subdivided in to nine species which are omnivores. The word badger is believed to have been derived from a French word becheur that means digger. A female badger is a sow, a male badger a boar and a young badger a cub. Additionally, a collective name for badgers is a cete, while their colonies are called clans. Badgers are mostly found in Great Britain, North America, and southern Scandinavia and in Ireland. Their distribution differs with their species and their characteristics in adapting to different environments. They are also found in China, Japan, Malaysia, and in Indonesia. The honey badger is mostly found in Arabian Desert, sub-Saharan desert, India, Turkmenistan and in southern Levant.
Badgers are known to have fat- short bodies, with short legs meant for digging. They have elongated weasel-like heads, small ears, short tail that vary with species, black faces with white marking, dark legs, gray bodies with light colored stripe from the head to tail, and a light colored stomachs. The ferret badger is known to have a long tail while the stink has a short one. According to statistics, they can grow up to 35 inches long with the tail included. The hog badger, American badger, and the honey badger are similar in weight and size, though generally lighter, and smaller (Leach, 2009). On the other hand, the European badger is among the largest badger in the world. They are characterized with a unique dental formula whereby the lower jaw is articulated to the upper jaw by means of transverse condyle. The jaws are locked into a long cavity of the cranium, in order to prevent dislocation of the jaw when cracking nuts and other hard feedstuff. By this, the jaw movements are limited, and therefore help in maintaining its hold with utmost tenacity. This also helps in the movement of jaws in up and down motion, and when twisting side to side.
Badgers have different behaviors that vary with their families. Moreover, they all shelter underground in burrows called setts. Some badgers are introverted, moving from home to home, while some form clans. A clan consists of 2 to 15 badgers. In some cases, badgers may be fierce when protecting themselves and their cubs. They are even capable of fighting larger animals such bears and wolves. They can run or hurtle at up to 25- 30 kilometers per hours. Eurasian badgers mostly feed on insects, grubs and earthworms. They also eat reptiles, birds, amphibians, roots and fruits. Being omnivores, they feed on all kind of foods provided it is available. Badgers in Africa feed on honey, porcupines, and snakes (Roper, 2010). Badgers have different ways of hunting their prey. For instance honey badgers climb trees, while American badger catch their foods by digging. Research says that badgers are known to be intoxicated by alcohol after eating rotten fruits.
Badgers are built to dig, and, therefore, have the ability to dig very deep hole in a short time. They are known to be the fastest mammal to move dirt including a badger person with a shovel. This helps them in catching their prey and running away from their predators. By this, they have sturdy claws, strong shoulders, and partial webbing in their feet so as to allow them scope soil quickly while digging. Badgers also use their back feet I kicking loose dirt of their way when digging. In the course of digging out their prey, badgers expand these tunnels in to sleeping burrows. They are naturally protected from flying dirt by transparent membranes. This membrane protects their stiff hairs, eyes, and keeps their ear canal clean. These adaptive feature helps the badger in surviving in it’s environ even in adverse climatic condition. They have a keen sense of smell, that helps them track their prey and in detecting their predators. They are more active at night than in daytime (Kenworthy, 2000).
Badgers are very clean animal and always deposit their droppings a distant from their setts in shallow pits. They even change their bedding materials frequently in their pursuit to maintain cleanliness. Badgers gather, dry leaves, and brackens, for placing in their sett toward the entrance. They are always careful and sniff the air for danger before going out of their setts. They ensure that their sett is near a tree so as to sharpen their claws and keep them in good condition for digging. Badgers and coyotes seem to hunt the same prey, and sometime cooperate in catching bigger prey. In some cases, badgers and coyotes eat each other if the population of their prey is low. Badgers are important consumers of rodents, snakes, and insects. By this, they help in controlling the ecosystem by controlling the population. Apart from a keen sense of smell, badgers have a sharp vision, keen hearing and scent. They even have nerve endings in their fore claws that make them sensitive (Rundel & Gibson, 2005).
During autumn, badgers eat as much as they can fetch so as to accumulate fat under their skins. This is then used to help them survive harsh condition during winter. During this period, they spend most of their time in their setts so as to conserve as much fat as they can, to last them this period. Badgers mate in the month between February and October but the fertilized eggs begin developing after December. Their cubs are born approximately eight weeks after implantation. This delayed implantation is part of their survival techniques that helps them in endure adverse climatic conditions. This is mostly between mid January and mid March. They remain underground until they are eight weeks old before starting weaning which is introduced in the twelfth week. Male mature in two years while female mature from twelve to fifteen weeks. At this age they are ready to breed. Badgers are known to have a lifespan of approximately four to five, and nine to ten. Then oldest badger lived up to fourteen years.
Having various adaptive features, badgers are faced with a huge problem that constantly increases their mortality rate. Global warming is a form of climatic change whereby, there is an increase above the average atmospheric temperature. This is predicted to be caused by greenhouse effects that result from different pollution. Accumulated carbon dioxide in the atmosphere normally traps heat leading to the green house effects. The constant use of fossil fuel has been the leading cause of air pollution that contributes to green-house gases. The use of motor vehicles such as cars, tractors, and Lorries has increases carbon dioxide contained in the atmosphere due to the carbon contained in the fuel they use. Statistics indicates that during the 150 years of industrialization, is the amount of carbon dioxide contained in the air has increased by 31 percent (Bulow, 2001). This means that if responsive measures are not taken, the world might end up dying of the effects of global warming. It has become one of the problems that hinder high production of agricultural products and economic growth. This is because it is slowly becoming uncontrollable due to ignorance to the solutions made by researchers, and geographers. Implementing policies that will reduce the emissions of green-house gases is the best way to deal with such conditions.
Global warming has become the most profound threat to United States and the world at large. With the shrinking, snowpack, increased wildfires, and rising sea levels, California calls for immediate action in dealing with dangers of climate change. The major cause of global warming is the emission of gases produced from vehicles, and industries. Fortunately, with efficient energy sources such as solar energy, wind, and gas, it would be easier to reduce global warming since the largest sources will be eliminated. California has made history by adopting the most comprehensive strategy of cutting global warming pollution. This has been met by establishing innovative global warming policies that serve for the federal government, and other states in United States. Despite the cost of establishing this policy, California has set its standards by establishing renewable energy sources such as solar, and winds (Lawrence, 2009).
Climate change is one of the global problems that have been considered to challenge the facing badgers and other wild animals (Roper, 2010). The advanced in technology and change, in culture, has resulted to Anthropocene (Age of Human). His development has gone behold to join the characteristic of a complex system and integrate cultural and society system. In ethic field, it is required to develop a macro ethic system with the capacity to address an issues arises from behavior of a complicated system. Macro ethics starts with level of individual. The professional ethics start in this level where individual is part of their acculturation process. The other level is institutional behavior, which has been advanced to cover individual ethics and instructional within where ethics have to be practiced.
All animals are equal, and they depend on the other. The different that occurs between animals is due to environmental factors and their genetic. Animals are regretted by mankind in such that are used testing and in experiment. It is our obligation to take care of animals, respect their right and keep them out of suffering. Tormenting animal is immoral thing to do which makes human to equal with them. In science research, we are not supposed to use protected animals, but animals, which are almost similar with human’s genes. Animals do not have moral duties to each other and us. They control the forest even us can be their food. We are not supposed to treat animals like human beings but to treat them like animals. Animals are likely to serve their purpose in food production and experiment (Rundel & Gibson, 2005). During the time of Anthropogenic, the economic growth and technology need another stage of ethical system, which viewed thing in wide way and more fundamental. Today it is extremely difficult to have global, ethical opinion. Macro ethical systems have filled the space between the people of different culture and different level of thinking. Now day information technology has come up with unpredictable ethical impact on culture which has different ethics. Ethics is active when the point come across its ground rule, and it stands more as a reactive force.
In conclusion, it is evident that badgers are uniquely built creatures. They have distinctive that help them in surviving threatening condition in their environment. However, the government should ensure that such animal are protected from natural disasters such as drought and harsh climatic conditions. This way, the government will be protecting the tourism sector as well as the environment that everyone depends on.