Publication Date

Fall 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences


Shannon M. Bros


American badger, central California, grasslands, natal den, natal habitat, Taxidea taxus

Subject Areas

Conservation Biology; Ecology; Wildlife Conservation


The American badger (Taxidea taxus) is a species of special concern in California, and, as such, conservation measures are necessary. The goal of this study was to identify potential reproductive den habitat characteristics in order to more accurately predict critical reproductive habitat in central California grasslands. A paired study design was used to examine differences between reproductive and non-reproductive sites, and logistical regression was used to analyze the variables and produce two predictive models, one with biotic factors and one with abiotic factors. Badgers in central Californian grasslands appear to rely on both biotic and abiotic factors when selecting locations for reproductive den sites. Predictive biotic variables included amount of ground vegetation, presence of predators, presence of prey, and nearest shrub width. Predictive abiotic variables included distance to a drainage point and slopes at 10, 30, and 40 m from the den entrance. Integrating information from these models into conservation efforts will identify critical reproductive habitat and help form viable conservation strategies for the species.