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Black-footed Ferret

 
     
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Black-footed Ferret
(Mustela nigripes)

The Black-footed Ferret is sometimes called the prairie bandit because of the coloration of its face. It is a member of the weasel family and it evolved in North America. It is a different species from the European ferret that you can buy in pet stores. Considered the most endangered mammal in North America, the Black-footed ferret was listed as endangered in 1967 by the USFWS.

 

Black-footed Ferret Facts:

 

  • The Black-footed ferrets spend most of their lives underground and generally come out at night to feed.
  • The Black-footed ferret is usually 18 to 24 inches long including its five to six inch tail and it weighs between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.
  • Black-footed ferrets feed on prairie dogs and make their homes in prairie dog's burrows.
  • Female Black-footed ferrets have 4 or 5 young in May or June of each year.

Black-footed ferrets have been reintroducted in Badlands National Park.

Black-footed ferrets at Badlands National Park

The killing and poisoning of Prairie dog's in the 20th century and the sylvatic plague lead to the near exitinction of the Black-footed ferret. By 1972 Black-footed ferrets were believed to be extinct. However in 1981 a colony was found in Meeteetese, Wyoming. In the mid 1980s the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department started a captive breeding program for the Black-footed ferret. The program now has about 300 ferrets spread across about five zoos and research centers around the U.S. Black-footed ferrets have been reintroducted into the wild in Wyoming in 1991, in Montana and South Dakota in 1994, and in Arizona in 1998. A total of more than 170 ferrets have been released into Colorado since 2001.

For more information on the recovery of the Black-footed ferret go to:

Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team.

USFWS Black-footed Ferret Information

Black footed ferret photo
Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program USFWS

Black footed ferret picture
Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program USFWS

Black footed ferret
Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program USFWS

Black footed ferret
Black-footed Ferret Recovery Program USFWS


at Amazon around $20
at Amazon around $26
at Amazon around $8
at Ferret.com from $99+
 

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