The black-footed ferret is a mammal found in the Northern Great Plains of America. Although they were once thought to be extinct, black-footed ferrets are making a comeback. Recovery efforts by many state and federal authorities, zoos, Native American tribes, conservationists, and private landowners have given them a new opportunity to survive. Such efforts have helped propel the black-footed ferret to almost 300 individuals across North America. Despite all this however, habitat loss and disease remain very real threats to this highly endangered species.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Prairie dogs make up more than 90% of the black-footed ferret's diet. A ferret may eat as many as 100 prairie dogs in a year. They are also known to eat ground squirrels, small rodents, rabbits, and birds.
- Kits are born blind and helpless and stay underground until they are about two months old. At this age, the female begins to take her young on hunting forays and separates them into different burrows. By October, the young are completely independent and will disperse to their own territories.
- The IUCN has classified the black-footed ferret as endangered.
- The black-footed ferret's scientific name is Mustela nigripes.