A Talk on the Wild Side.
Recent sightings of a coyote and badger on the prairie surrounding the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center brought attention to a fascinating example of partnership.
Coyotes and badgers are known to hunt together and can even be more successful hunting prairie dogs and ground-squirrels when they work in tandem.
Coyote and badger at Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center. Kimberly Fraser, USFWS
Studies have shown that this unusual relationship is beneficial for both species. The coyote can chase down prey if it runs and the badger can dig after prey if it heads underground into its burrow systems.
Coyote and badger at Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center.
Each partner in this unlikely duo brings a skill the other one lacks. Together they are both faster and better diggers than the burrowing rodents they hunt.
These partnerships tend to emerge during the warmer months. In the winter, the badger can dig up hibernating prey as it sleeps in its burrow. It has no need for the fleet-footed coyote.