I’m a wildlife photographer interested in learning the best time of spring to have an opportunity to find badger cubs?

Answered by Jamie Utz – Wildlife Diversity Biologist – Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game Southwest Region Thanks to a special feature of reproductive biology, seasonal patterns of torpor, and certain behavioral tendencies of American badgers (Taxidea taxus), this is tricky question to answer. Badgers mate in the late summer or early fall. But once…

I heard the first bear was spotted at Yellowstone! Does the length or severity of the winter change the hibernation length, especially for bears?

Answered by Gregg Losinski – ESER Education Specialist and Human/Bear Conflict Expert Hibernation is a fascinating adaptation that many animals use to survive when harsh extremes are part of their environment. We think of hibernation in relation to cold, but there is a parallel process called estivation that occurs during very hot temperatures and allows…

Do badgers hibernate in the winter?

Question answered by Bryan Bybee, Biologist, INL ESER Program The simple answer is that badgers do not hibernate. Hibernation is a seasonal behavior pattern characterized by long periods of reduced body temperature, inactivity, lowered heart and breathing rates, and suppressed metabolism. Body temperatures may be reduced to nearly that of the surroundings. By this definition,…

Do hibernating squirrels and marmots have better resistance to cold than other mammals, even before they enter hibernation? It seems like they would be too cold to sleep all winter.

Question Answered by Greg Burak, Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Service,  Boise Office That is a great question!  During hibernation, ground squirrels, such as the northern Idaho ground squirrel, enter long periods of time when they are inactive and sleeping.  This is called torpor.  While in torpor, the body temperature of a ground squirrel is about…

Do snakes hibernate?

Question Asked by Mrs. Johnson’s 4th Grade Class, Westside Elementary Answered by Alana Jensen, INL Environmental Educator, GSS ESER Program Snakes and other reptiles don’t hibernate; they brumate. Brumation in reptiles is quite different from hibernation in mammals. Reptiles do not sleep the winter away, nor do they live off their fat reserves. They are alert, though sluggish, and…