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The Honey Badger

The Honey Badger

Honey badger
Honey badger

 

The honey badger (Mellivora capensis) is found in part of sub-Saharan Africa, through the Middle East to southern Russia and eastwards as far as India and Nepal.

Habitat:
Honey badger's utilise a wide range of habitats, from semi-desert to rainforest.

Behaviour:
Honey badgers are mostly solitary. The young will stay with their mother until they are approximately 14 months old. They may congregate in areas where food is in abundance.

Their diet consists of mostly small mammals, birds and reptiles and of course honey and bee larvae.

Honey badgers are legendary for their fearlessness, and their willingness, if threatened, to take on animals far larger than themselves.

Conservation Status:
Although unprotected on the International Red Data list, honey badgers are listed as near threatened in South Africa and Morocco, and Endangered in Saudi Arabia. Honey badgers are protected in India.

Threats:
Persecuted by beekeepers, poultry and sheep farmers, often using gin traps.

Indirectly persecuted by poison and traps set for jackals and caracals, again by farmers.  Trade for traditional medicine and bushmeat.

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 07, Dec 2011)