Recently, scientist have found that coyotes tend to wait for badgers to stir small rodents from their burrows. The coyotes are trying to save energy by letting the badgers scout out where the rodents are located, and then the coyotes get to the rodents before the badgers. Although some coyotes do kill some young badgers, recent surveys have found that coyotes and badgers are friends.
Locally, Barbara Ver Steeg of Illinois Natural History Survey has recently performed a six year study on badgers. Some of her more interesting studies are that the badgers head is wedge shaped which allows the badger to nose its way into squirrel holes. Also, its thick fur and loose skin allow the badger to ease its way in a tight burrow. Lastly, Barbaras study found that badgers in the Midwest tend to roam in between corn and soybean fields which is very different from what they are used to, but they are adapting to this lifestyle.
Wildlife scientists call the badger a sentinel species, one that provides clues about the health of the eco system in which the animal lives, states Rick Roy, one of the biologists studying badgers. One other study badgers are being used for is the soil-toxicity studies to ensure the safety of human visitors and any person that may come in contact with a badger.
In the article, The benefits of badgers, I feel that the badgers are being used by the coyotes and this treatment is unfair. I think that if every time a badger tries to hunt their dinner, and instead the coyote successfully gets it, then the badger population could in the distant future be in danger. The badger will need to find other resources for food in which the coyote will not want to steal the badgers food. If the coyote continues to take the food that the badger is hunting, then the badgers will have nothing to eat, and will eventually die off.
I think that Barbara Ver Steegs Midwest study on badgers was very beneficial and proved that badgers bodies were built especially for hunting small rodents, unlike the coyotes bodies. Before I read this article, I was unaware that badgers were residing near hear. I find it interesting that they reside in the Midwest, and that other animals are using them for their great hunting abilities.
I find it interesting that badgers accumulate pesticides and other toxics in their bodies. However, I think that it would be beneficial to use badgers for the soil-toxicity study to ensure the safety of humans.
This article has helped me to realize that there are many different species in the world that depend on one another to get food. And although I dont think that it is a good thing that the coyotes take all of the badgers food, I think that it is actually a pretty good idea for the coyote to befriend the badger in order to get food.
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