Arizona Working Hard to Re-establish Black-Footed Ferret

Black-Footed FerretThe Havasu News-Herald has a March 11 news piece that indicates Arizona’s Game and Fish Department is working hard to and making some progress toward re-establishing the black-footed ferret in the state. Take a look . . .

Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking volunteers to travel to Aubrey Valley, which is west of Seligman, Ariz., for two Black-footed Ferret Recovery Project spotlightings scheduled for March 28-30 and April 25-27. Sign up deadline is March 22, and April 19, respectively.

This year, organizers are experimenting with a new method by conducting two shorter spotlighting efforts instead of one with five consecutive nights of observation. Individuals can volunteer for just one evening or multiple nights.

The species is elusive, nocturnal and endangered. Twice thought to be extinct, a small population of black-footed ferrets was discovered in 1981. A mere 18 were left when captive breeding efforts began in 1985. In 1996, Arizona’s Aubrey Valley was selected as a reintroduction site. The project was funded through Arizona Heritage Funds and matched with federal dollars.

Read the entire article here . . .

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets: Your Guide to Happier, Healthier Pet Ferrets

Black-Footed Ferret News – What’s Happening with Your Pet Ferret’s Wild Cousin

Owing chiefly to the efforts of the National Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program, this wild relative of your pet ferret is making a healthy come-back, with about 1,000 in the wild now. It seems, though, there is still work to be done in North Dakota . . .

The black-footed ferret, which had been thought twice extinct and has been on the endangered species list since 1967, is making a comeback.

The resurgence of black-footed ferrets is due in large part to the National Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Program, a multi-partner project lead by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But plans to bring the ferrets back to North Dakota aren’t concrete.

“We don’t have any firm plans to reintroduce black-footed ferrets,” said Jeff Towner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North Dakota field supervisor. “Our long-term desires would be to, at some point, reintroduce black-footed ferrets to North Dakota, because it’s part of their historic range.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is interested in starting up as many new colonies as we can.”

Since the recovery program started in 1981, the black-footed ferrets have grown in number from 18 to about 1,000 ferrets in the wild . . .

Read the entire September 13 article titled “Ferrets’ return on hold” by Royal McGregor here.

Black-Footed Ferrets as Pets?

I have seen the question “Why is it illegal to own black-footed ferrets as pets?” several times on this site, and I have never answered it. Well, my friends, I am finally getting around to answering this question – and I apologize for not getting to it sooner.

The answer to the question is really quite simple. You cannot own a black-footed ferret because they are on the Endangered Species List. And as with all endangered animals, it is illegal to have them as pets.

The black-footed ferret is the only ferret that is native to North America. Their main food source is the prairie dog. Because prairie dogs were considered a nuisance for livestock and land, their eradication began. And because their food source was being killed off, so was the black-footed ferret.

In 1960, it was realized that the black-footed ferret was in danger. In 1967, the black-footed ferret was classified as an Endangered Species. In 1973, the black-footed ferret was one of the first species to be put on the current Endangered Species List.

And that is the reason why it is illegal to own a black-footed ferret. Plus, I think would be nearly impossible to get one, considering they are highly protected.

If you would like to learn more about the black-footed ferret, you can go to the official website of the Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team (BFFRIT):

I learned about the black-footed ferret from this site and from Kim Schilling’s Ferrets for Dummies.