Badger Facts - Hibernation

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Do badgers hibernate?

The badger does not hibernate in the way that a hedgehog would for most of the winter. However, it is clear that hedgehogs have developed a strategy for staying alive during the winter, particularly in extremely cold winters when food is short.

Badger sets are very good at maintaining a constant temperature, in the same way that a hedgehogs hibernaculum will. Sets have been recorded at a temperature of between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius when the outside temperature has been -17 degrees Celsius.

American badgers have been recorded to spend up to 70 days underground, but it is not proven that their heartbeat slows considerably and that they enter full hibernation.

British badgers almost certainly do not hibernate, but they may spend a few days underground to conserve energy if temperatures fall considerably and food is difficult to find.