Black-footed ferrets released in Wyoming to control prairie dog population
Twenty-two captive-raised black-footed ferrets were recently released in the Shirley Basin Reintroduction Area north of Medicine Bow.
The ferrets were raised at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in Colorado. Black-footed ferrets primarily prey on prairie dogs, and biologists had to witness each ferret kill a prairie dog prior to its release to prove it was able to survive on its own.
These ferrets should mingle with ferrets already on the landscape in Shirley Basin to increase the reproductive success of the population.
Black-footed ferrets were first released into the Shirley Basin in 1991, making the site the home of the longest lasting reintroduced population of black-footed ferrets in the world.