* Threatened or Endangered
Black-footed Ferret *
: Mustela nigripes
: North American Plains
: Primarily prairie dogs, but also other small mammals, birds and insects
: Weight about 2 lbs., length about 18 inches
: Extinct in the wild in Canada, reintroduction efforts in Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Chihuahua, Mexico have been an overall success. A Species Survival Plan involving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, several state Game & Fish Departments and a number of Zoos has brought this species back from the edge of extinction.
Thought to be extinct for years, a small population was found to be struggling for survival near Meeteetsee, Wyoming in 1981. In 1986, the last 18 animals were captured and brought into captivity for an intensive captive breeding program. One goal of the plan is to reach 10 or more separate, self-sustaining wild populations spread across suitable habitat containing many prairie dogs, which they rely on heavily for food and shelter.