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Old 12-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default Black-footed Ferret - Mustela nigripes

On my trip to Yellowstone and the Dakota's this past summer, I had my eyes pealed for any ferrets amongst the prairie towns, especially in the Dakota Badlands; but I never saw a sign of them or spoke to anyone who had seen any in the recent past.

It appears that if any future for them is real, it will depend upon setting aside land not used for cattle. Ranchers hate prairie dogs because of the treacherous holes that can endanger their grazers, and as this article states, ferrets depend upon prairie dogs for their food supply.

"A family of four ferrets will consume an average of 763 prairie dogs per year."

"Black-footed ferrets are one of the most endangered mammals in North America. How did this happen? Black-footed ferrets depend on prairie dogs for survival. Almost 90% of the ferret's diet is prairie dogs. They also rely on prairie dog burrows for shelter. As the prairie dog population declined due to deliberate poisoning, the ferrets began to disappear."

ZooAmerica - North American Wildlife Park - Black-footed Ferrets
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #2
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I'm sure THOUSANDS upon thousands of them have been sold in the exotic pet trade!
I still see them in the pet stores.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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If you want to see Black-Footed Ferrets you may have to make Friends with ranchers that have reverted their land back to Buffalo grazing. Cattle Ranchers [Most] will never stop killing prairie dogs since if the ferrets follow they may be restricted or may fear that way since having native ferrets could effect their farm activities. Lots of Buffalo were killed by the Cattle Ranchers too, They thought the Buffalo carried a germ that makes cattle sick. Fooling with mother nature never is good.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:00 PM   #4
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Default Endangered black-footed ferret and its plague-impacted prey need new conservation approaches

Endangered black-footed ferret and its plague-impacted prey need new conservation approaches
Date: February 19, 2014
Source: Stony Brook University

Endangered black-footed ferret and its plague-impacted prey need new conservation approaches -- ScienceDaily
excerpt from above:
Quote:
The black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, but new research suggests that these charismatic critters can persist if conservationists think big enough.

Decades of human persecution (e.g., poisoning) of the ferret's favorite prey, prairie dogs, and severe outbreaks of plague and distemper led to its extinction in the wild in 1987. Since then, thousands of captive-raised ferrets have been released across North America, and at least four wild populations have been successfully reestablished. However, a new factor threatens to undermine these hard-fought conservation gains: the continued eastward spread of the exotic bacterial disease plague, which is a quick and efficient killer of prairie dogs, and is caused by the same microbe that is implicated in the Black Death pandemics of the Middle Ages.

Using a new multi-species computer modeling approach, researchers have linked models of plague, prairie dog, and black-footed ferrets, to explore the consequences of ecological interactions in ways not possible using standard methods. The results of this study, published in Journal of Applied Ecology, suggests that the continued survival of black-footed ferret populations requires landscapes larger than conservationists previously thought, and...
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