Facts about this animal
Did you know?
That the black-footed ferret is the most endangered mammal in North America? Loss of habitat due to conversion of grasslands to agricultural uses and prairie dog eradication prgrammes are the primary reason black-footed ferrets remain near the brink of extinction. Remaining habitat is less than 2 percent of what once existed and is heavily fragmented.
|Name (Scientific)||Mustela nigripes|
|Name (English)||Black-footed Ferret|
|Name (French)||Putois à pieds noirs|
|Name (Spanish)||Turón de patas negras|
|CITES Status||Appendix I|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
Photo Copyright by
Jessica De Smet
|Range||This species was extinct in the wild. Reintroduced in Arizona, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, and Chihuahua (Mexico), formerly found in Canada, the United States and Mexico|
|Habitat||Arid, shortgrass prairies|
|Wild population||Unknown, since 1991 over 200 ferrets have been released back into the wild (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||208 reported to ISIS|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 79 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Find this animal on ZooLex
Photo Copyright by
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Why do zoos keep this animal
With the loss of 98 percent of prairie dog habitat, which black-footed ferrets depend upon, they neared total extinction in the 1980s. In 1985, only 18 ferrets remained. These were captured and brought into an ex situ conservation breeding programme in which wildlife authorities and zoos participated (AZA Species Survival Plan). Ferrets bred under this programme are returned to the wild where the conditions permit. The size of the current wild population is not exactly known, but probably there are now more than 600.
If well presented, black-footed ferrets, along with some other species like praire dogs and bisons, are good ambassadors for the endangered prairie ecosystem.