The National Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program, a multi-partner project lead by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invites you to follow the life-cycle of one of North America’s most endangered mammals, the black-footed ferret.
Twice declared extinct, a small remnant population of black-footed ferrets was discovered in 1981 and brought into a captive breeding facility. Recovery efforts began with only 18 ferrets, slowly instituting one of the most successful wildlife reintroduction programs in history. More than 7,100 ferrets have been born in captivity since 1986 with approximately 3,000 BFFs being reintroduced back to their native prairie habitat. Approximately 1,000 individuals now live in the wild making this one of America’s greatest conservation success stories.
The public can follow a number of black-footed ferrets as biologists work to prepare them to survive on the American prairie. “It’s a really rewarding project,” said Kimberly Tamkun of the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center.
“We’re trying to use social media in a way that creates more awareness for one of America’s most elusive, yet charismatic species. We know that if the American public learns more about this species, they’ll be much more likely to support its recovery and, just as importantly, the conservation of many other prairie species who share this rare habitat.”
The “masked bandit of the prairie,” as the black-footed ferret is sometimes called, is beloved by those familiar with the species. It is known for its distinct and sometimes eccentric personality, which is embodied best in its famous “ferret dance.”
To see the video click on the link at the bottom of the page.