Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BLACK-FOOTED FERRET ((Mustela nigripes)

The Black-footed Ferret is the rare animal in north America according to USFWS and it is called the prairie bandit because of the shadow of its face. It is a part of the weasel ancestors. It is a different variety from the European ferret.


It has a beam tan corpse. This mammal also has a distinctive black mask, and a black tip on its tail. It is a skeletal mortal, 20 to 24 inches long, 5 to 6 inch (13 to 15 cm) tail, weight 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pounds.Males weight more than females. It have short legs, long claws on the front feet, and large ears.


At the present situation it is found in U.S.A and Canada.



  • 1920 - 800,000
  • 1984 - 128
  • 2005 - 500


The black-footed ferret is usually found on squat pasture and mid grass prairie in close relationship with grassland dogs, which constitute its diet. In addition to the feeding on prairie dogs, they lives with grassland dog colonies. It spends most of the time in the underground


Both male and female ferrets become sexually mature at one year of age ,where the gestation period goes for 41 - 45 days. Then the mating generally occurs in March and April. After about 7 weeks, a kits is born. Usually it will have 4 to 5 kits per year.


The main food is Prairie dog where it will eat hundred per/year. It may also eat ground squirrels, small rodents, cottontail rabbits and birds.


The killing of Prairie dog's in the 20th century direct to the death of the Black-footed ferret. By 1972 Black-footed ferrets were held to be dead. In 1981 a settlement was found in Meeteetese, Wyoming,and in the mid of 1980s the USFWS Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department started a confined reproduction program for the Black-footed ferret. The plan now has about 300 ferrets spread across five zoos and research centers around the U.S. Black-footed ferrets have been reintroducted into the wild.

  • Wyoming in 1991
  • South Dakota in 1994
  • Montana and, and in Arizona in 1998

Now a total of more than 170 ferrets have been reintroduced

Black-footed ferrets have been reintroduced in Badlands National Park.

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