General

Black-Footed Ferret

posted: 11/30/15
Black footed Ferret
John E Marriott/Getty Images
Scientific Name: Mustela nigripes
Status: Endangered
Number Remaining: 300 in the wild
Average Length: 18-24 inches
Average Weight: 1.5-2.5 pounds

The black-footed ferret is the only ferret species native to North America and was almost globally extinct in the 1960s. However, due to efforts across the continent, these ferrets are slowly making comeback.

They are nocturnal and spend about 90% of their time underground in prairie dog burrows.

Despite their growing numbers, the black-footed ferret is still threatened, primarily due to the shrinking numbers of their main prey: prairie dogs. Black-footed ferrets heavily rely on the presence of prairie dogs for food and for shelter. Due to habitat loss and a strain of prairie dog plague, the ferrets' main source of food is dwindling.

Black-Footed Ferrets in the News:

How You Can Help:

  • Defenders of Wildlife: Learn what they're doing to help restore black-footed ferret populations and how you can assist their efforts.
  • World Wildlife Fund: Learn more about the species and what is being done to help their population.
  • Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program: Learn more about their extensive conservation efforts, what you can do, and how you can educate others about the species.
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