The Black Footed Ferret

By: Geena Kumaran, Teacher: Mrs. Wasser, Pd: 3

BACKGROUND

Driving Question: How can I create a flyer that will raise awareness on the endangerment of the black footed ferret

The black footed ferret is also know as the The American polecat and is threatened by habitat loss, non-native disease, and its loss of prey. They live in grasslands in Central America, they live for 3-4 years. They are nocturnal and natural predators of prairie dogs. They were declared "globally extinct" in 1979. They were rediscovered in 1981 outside of Meeteetse, Wyoming. The Captive Breeding Program contains 3/4 of the population which is about 300 in the wild.


Picture credit: www.wipikpedia.org by Mariomassone

They have a tan, long slender body black feet and legs and a black tip on its tail and a black mask (like a superhero). It has long teeth and large skull. Its front paws are very little and are armed with claws. It is majorly dependent on prairie dogs for food and shelter because its they use their abandoned burrows for their homes. It is the most endangered animal in the world. It has been endangered since March 11 1967.

There are at least 2 self- sustaining populations in the wild of the used to be extinct Black footed ferret. The last remaining 18 ferrets were taken into captive breeding between 1985-1987 for captive breeding. The males have the tendency to be larger than the females. They have a birth range of May to June.

REPRODUCTION


  • Kits are born blind

  • stay underground until 2 months old

  • then takes the kits on hunting forays

  • in October the kits are independent and able to live by themselves

GESTATION

41 to 43 days

MATING SEASON

March to April

LITTER SIZE

  • 3-4 average

  • Ranges from 1-7 kits

DETAILS

Kingdom:

Animal

Phylum:

Chordata

Class:

Mammalia

Order:

Carnivora

Family:

Mustelidae

BEHAVIOR

They are nocturnal so they come out at night

90%-underground

10%-out of their burrows at night

THREATS

  1. habitat loss
  2. non-native disease
  3. loss of prey

HEIGHT, WEIGHT, LENGTH

Height:

  • 6 inches
Weight:

  • 1.5-2.5 pounds
Length:

  • 18 to 24 inches

LIFE SPAN

In the wild: 3-4 years


In captivity: 8-9 years

DIET

They are carnivores so they eat other animals

90%- prairie dogs

10%- ground squirrels, rodents, rabbits and birds

As mentioned before, they are natural predators of prairie dogs.

*In 1997 an outbreak of sylvatic plague wiped out the Black footed ferrets main food source: the prairie dog which caused a major deplete in the population of the black footed ferret*

Big image
PICTURE CREDIT

www.zooborns.com BY Smithsonian National Zoo

THE PREDATORS OF THE BLACK FOOTED FERRET

WHAT IS BEING DONE TO SAVE THEM

  1. WWF released 15 black footed ferrets in September 2015 to Fort Belknap
  2. 52 black footed ferrets were released in 2013 and 2014 :)
  3. Trying to increase the population of black footed ferrets in the wild
  4. Introducing the black footed ferret sites
  5. Driving resources to recover the black footed ferret population
  6. Trying to extinguish the sylvatic plague

Picture credit: www.worldwildlife.org by Clay Bolt

LINKS

Video

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BLACK FOOTED FERRET

Biblography

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MY SOURCES