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Black Footed Ferret

Mustela nigripes

Weight: Female about 0.8kg; a male about 1kg.

Habitat: Usually found on short grass and mid-grass prairies in close association with prairie dogs.

Age to Maturity: 1 year.

Gestation Period: 42-45 days.

Birth Season: Captives have mated in March and April and given birth in May and June.

Birth Rate: Average 3 young per litter.

Maximum Age:At least 12 years (captivity).

Diet: It is a specialist predator of prairie dogs for its food, although mice, voles, ground squirrels and other small animals are occasionally taken.

Threats: It was apparently an unintentional victim of the prairie dog eradication campaign. Disease, including plague and canine distemper, may be the greatest biological obstacle to its recovery. In addition, poisoning and shooting remain as potential threats.































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