Black Footed Ferret

By Elena Chang

Food Chain and Habitat

- mainly eat prairie dogs, some small rodents and birds (NZF, DF)

- find food in western Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota (WF)

- are carnivores (NGF)

- a predator, hunts prairie dogs (NGF)

- prey for golden eagles, owls, and coyotes (NGF)

- located in North America, in the United States, Canada and Mexico (WF)

- terrain is short-and-middle grass prairies (NZF)

- live in abandoned prairie dog dwellings (NGF)


- is a mammal (TZF)

- base color is pale yellowish Buffy (WF)

- top of head and sometimes neck has dark tipped hairs (WF)

- face broadband, sooty black (WF)

- feet and part of legs, dark patch (WF)

- tip of tail, sooty black (WF)

- middle of legs, large patch, dark umber-brown (WF)

- over each eye, small spot, narrow band behind, black mask (WF)

- side of head and eyes, dirty white (WF)

- males

- body length - 20 - 21 inches (WF)

- tail length - 4.5 - 5 inches (WF)

- females - 10% smaller (WF)

- weigh 1.4 - 3.1 pounds (DF)

- height 6 inches (DF)

- very vocal (AF)

-loud chatter - excited or alarmed (AF)


- hide in prairie dog burrow (TZF)

- use claws and jaws (TZF)

- short legs, large front paws (WF)

- claws, dig (WF)

- jaws, climb (WF)

- nocturnal (WF)

- hunt sleeping prairies dogs (WF)

- smell, sight, hearing (WF)

- claws and jaws, hunt (WF)

Reasons for Endangerment

- disease (NGF)

- predators, golden eagle, owl, coyote (NGF)

- decrease prairie dogs (NGF, KNG)

- habitat destruction (DF101, KNG)

- poisoning (DF101)

- shooting (DF101)

Critical Information

- restore prairie dog (DF101)

- prevent burrow destruction (DF101)

- slowly reintroduce to wild (DF101)

- "flagship" species (DF101)

- popularity and charismatic (DF101)

- public symbol to save grassland ecosystem (DF101)

- save them = healthier future planet (DF101)

- "Black Footed Ferret Recovery Plan" (AF)

- self sustaining wild populations (AF)

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