The Loss of the Black-Footed Ferret

A Tragedy Being Redeemed

The History of the Black-Footed Ferret

The Black-Footed Ferret is endemic to North America and one of the three ferret species in the world. The Black-Footed Ferret population once flourished throughout the Great Plains region of the Central United States. However, when early American settlers began to expand westward during the 1800's in search of fertile land to farm, the development, heavy land cultivation, and extensive plowing destroyed the habitats of the majority of the ferret populations. Thought to be extinct for many years, a small population of ferrets was stumbled upon in 1986 in Wyoming and is being carefully conserved in an attempt to reinvigorate the specie's success.

A Desperate Race

The Current Condition

The fate of the Black-Footed Ferret species now depends entirely upon the process of captive breeding, preconditioning (training the captive-bred ferrets to survive independently), and reintroduction into the wilderness. This method of restoring population growth has been used since the rediscovery of the species in 1986 and has accumulated fair success.

Range of Black Footed Ferret

Historic Range is the American Great Plains (shaded yellow), while Last Known Range is Meeteetse, Wyoming (red dot).

Works Cited:

"Welcome to the Official Website of the Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team!" Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. <>.