This Cute South Dakota Native Is An Endangered Species
Only 700 of these little guys exist outside of captivity and 430 out of the 700 can be found right here in South Dakota as of December 2006.
The black-footed-ferret has been on the endangered species list since 1967 due to "the Protection Act of 1967 and later under the Endangered Species Act in 1973"-US Fish & Wildlife Service.
"The black-footed-ferret is "the only ferret native to North America, the black-footed ferret averages about 18 to 24 inches long. This ferret has a tan body with black legs and feet, a black tip on the tail, and a black mask"-US Fish & Wildlife Service."
Sadly there are several reasons why these ferrets are going extinct.
Diseases and the typical habitat that these ferrets call home have sadly been plowed over and turned over into fields for crops.
And since the black-footed ferret's main source of food are prairie dogs; the future for the black-footed ferret looks questionable as the prairie dog has also begun to disappear due to disease.
But there is a little hope for these little ferrets, as some of the population that has been reintroduced into the wild within the state of South Dakota have been considered successful.
For the time being, there are still quite a few black-footed ferret's in captivity within both zoos and conservation parks in: Washington D.C.; Arizona; Canada; Colorado; Kentucky, and Wyoming.
Source: US Fish & Wildlife Service
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