Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the family which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels and wolverines. The 11 species of badger are grouped in three subfamilies. Badgers are found in much of North America, Ireland, Great Britain and most of Europe as far as southern Scandinavia. They live as far east as Japan and China. The Javan ferret-badger lives in Indonesia, and the Bornean ferret-badger lives in Malaysia. The honey badger is found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Desert, southern Levant, Turkmenistan, and India.
The behaviour of badgers differs by family, but all shelter underground, living in burrows called setts, which may be very extensive. Some are solitary, moving from home to home, while others are known to form clans called cetes. Cete size is variable from two to fifteen.
American badgers are fossorial carnivores – i.e. they catch a significant proportion of their food underground, by digging. They can tunnel after ground-dwelling rodents at speed.