Black Footed Ferret

Mustela nigripes

Species Information

  • Current status is endangered.
  • They started to become endangered in the 1982 and in 1996 it was officially extinct in the wild.
  • The Ferrets Diet is squirrels, mice, other rodents, and also prairie dogs.
  • They belong to the mustelids family which is a Carnivorous family.
  • They can weigh about 1.5-2.5 pounds


  • Prairie Dogs are a huge part of the Black Footed ferrets diet but when Farmers and ranchers started killing them because of their burrows underground the Prairie dogs left. Leaving a huge gap in the ferrets diet.
Up close - black-footed ferret

How people are helping to bring them back

Most Ferret reintroduction efforts have been mixed. The population need a good amount of Prairie Dogs to survive. Animals that have been taken care of humans and reintroduced to wildlife have a hard time surviving on their own. Challenges they face are avoiding predators and Forging for food.

Why are they important?

This Ferret is considered a flagship species, for the North american Prairie. That means that if we save a ferret we save over 130 endangered plants and animals that depend on the ecosystem.

Where are the located?

They are located in the North American Desserts and some plains.

Black Footed Ferret Fun Facts

  • Ferrets are nocturnal and sleep 21 hours per day.
  • They can live up to 12 years.
  • If Ferrets do not mate they die