Endangered Species of the Week: Black-Footed Ferret

The U.S government through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is breeding the black-footed ferret in captivity in northern Colorado.

“Once thought to be globally extinct, black-footed ferrets are making a comeback. For the last thirty years, concerted efforts from many state and federal agencies, zoos, Native American tribes, conservation organizations and private landowners have given black-footed ferrets a second chance for survival. Today, recovery efforts have helped restore the black-footed ferret population to nearly 300 animals across North America. Although great strides have been made to recover the black-footed ferret, habitat loss and disease remain key threats to this highly endangered species.

Black-footed ferrets are one of the most endangered mammals in North America and are the only ferret species native to the continent. Their recovery in the wild signifies the health of the grassland ecosystem which they depend on to survive.

Habitat loss and non-native disease threaten the recovery of the black-footed ferret. The ferret is entirely dependent on the presence of prairie dogs and their colonies for food, shelter and raising young. Without ample reintroduction sites and protection from plague, full black-footed ferret recovery remains difficult.” – World Wildlife Foundation

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