The Japanese badger, aka anaguma or mujina, can be found on Kyushu, Honshu, Shikoku, and Shōdoshima, in Japan. They prefer forested and woodland habitats, as well as agricultural, urban areas, and suburban habitats. Even though they face the threats of habitat destruction at the hands of residential and commercial developments, as well as from the logging industry; hunting; trapping; and invasive species (and with them disease), these critters are still listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. Their populations are decreasing though.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Meles anakuma
Weight: Up to 24.3 lbs.
Length: Up to 31 inches
Lifespan: Up to 19.5 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Anaguma translates to “hole bear.” Mujina translates to “badger.”
2.) Japanese badgers are nocturnal (active at night).
3.) When the winter months get cold enough, they will hibernate.
4.) Japanese badgers are solitary and only come together to breed.
5.) That being said, a group of badgers, while only seen in the case of a mother and her cubs, is called a cete, colony, company, or set.
But wait, there’s more on the Japanese badger!
6.) They spend a fair amount of non-hunting time in underground burrows, called setts. This makes them partially fossorial (spend part or a majority of their lives in burrows).
7.) Japanese badger’s burrows are extensively built.
Did you know…?
According to Japanese mythology, badgers are considered shapeshifters called mujina. These creatures were thought to not only shapeshift into humans, but also to sing.
8.) Scent marking is utilized to denote territory.
10.) These badgers are polygynandrous (promiscuous – males and females mate with more than 1 partner).
But wait, there’s still more on the Japanese badger!
11.) Females undergo up to a 49 day gestation (pregnancy) that yields up to 4 cubs.
12.) Cubs are independent in up to 26 months.
13.) The Japanese badger can run at speeds of up to 19 mph, for a short distance.
Now a Short Japanese Badger Video!
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