Will black-footed ferrets catch a break in Wyoming?

Feds propose ‘non-essential, experimental’ status

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Black-footed ferret, courtesy USFWS.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Black-footed ferrets could make a comeback on private lands in Wyoming under a federal proposal to designate the State of Wyoming as a special area for reintroduction, where the mammals would be managed as a “non-essential, experimental” population under a special provision of the Endangered Species Act.

The prairie-dwelling critters have been on the Endangered Species List since 1967. They were listed just a year after Congress passed the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading

Biodiversity: Black-footed ferret goes social

Follow recovery efforts online

SUMMIT COUNTY — Once a key species in prairie ecosystems, the black-footed ferret was twice declared extinct before a remnant population was discovered in 1981 and brought into a captive breeding facility.

Recovery of the species began with just 18 ferrets, but since 1986, more than 3,000 of the animals have been reintroduced into their native habitat. With at least 1,000 ferrets now living in the wild, federal biologists say it’s one of the most successful reintroduction programs in the country’s history.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to share that success via social media, so starting this week, the recovery program will be highlighted on the recovery program’s Facebook page, where the public can watch as biologists prepare black-footed ferrets to survive on the American prairie. Continue reading

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