Black-Footed Ferret (Texas Native)

Christina Campos

Background Information

The endangered black-footed ferret is a member of the weasel family. It is the only ferret native to North America (domestic ferrets are a different species originally from Europe). The black-footed ferret has a diet that mostly consists of prairie dogs. They spend the majority of their time underground, where they eat, sleep, and raise their young. They are nocturnal, so they hunt for prairie dogs at night.

Causes for their Endangerment and Successes for Protection:

Black-footed ferrets once numbered in the tens of thousands, but strange and exotic diseases and widespread destruction of their habitats in the 1900s brought them to the brink of extinction. By 1986, only 18 of them were left. Today, there are about 500 living in the wild and 300 living in captive breeding facilities. This comeback in their population is thanks to organizations like the Defenders of Wildlife that help rebuild their habitats and help them breed and survive before putting them back out into the wild. Efforts from many state and federal agencies, zoos, Native American tribes, conservation organizations, and private landowners have given black-footed ferrets a second chance for survival.
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Native Habitat: North America