By Kristen Wang, DigiLit Period 7, 1/6/2016
Introduction Paragraph (B)
Black-footed ferrets evolved from weasel-like ancestors, and came from Siberia to North America (Black-footed ferrets are native and can be only found in North America) from the Bering Land Bridge. They are one of the 3 ferret species, the others being the European Polecat and the Siberian Polecat. How can I inform others about the decline in population of the black-footed ferret? I chose this topic because I think every animal has a role to play in the world, but there are 150-200 species each day going extinct, so I wanted to inform others about the importance of every animal.
Black-footed ferret: Near Extinction (C)
When the settlers came to North America, they turned much of the prairie land into farmland, leaving barely any grass for the prairie dogs (prairie dogs consisted of 90% of the black-footed ferrets diet). In the early 1900s, rats from Asian trading ships infected many- including prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets- with sylvatic plague. Many black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs died. The black-footed ferret was declared extinct in 1979.
Black-footed ferrets: Recovery (C cont)
In 1981, Lucille Hogg's dog brang back a dead black-footed ferret; Wildlife officials were informed. On October 29th, 1981, a live black-footed ferret is spotted near Meeteetse, Wyoming, and in 1984, the population of black-footed ferrets is at 129. Later on, US Fish and Wildlife Service and other conservation centers start captive breeding and release some black-footed ferret into the wild.
Data and Quote (D)
The National Black-footed ferret conservation center houses 3/4 the worlds black-footed ferret population; every year, they produce 250 more newborn. Currently, the population of the black-footed ferrets is at 300 in the wild and 500 in captivity. The population number of black-footed ferrets has been steadily rising since 1986. ¨Black-footed ferrets have a lot of hair, big bad teeth, and a lot of attitude.¨ says Kimberly Fraser, a federal wildlife official. My opinion about the black-footed ferrets is that people are right trying to save the black-footed ferrets.
Yellow: Historical Range
Light blue: Reintroduction sites
Blue: Last known wild colony
Black-footed ferret exploring a preconditioning pen
Where the black-footed-ferret lives
Black-footed Ferret vs. Prairie Dog