Black Footed Ferret Essay

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The recovery plan for the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center Office (USFWS, 2013). The species was first listed as endangered in 1967 and “grandfathered” into the Endangered Species Act in 1973 (USFWS, 2013). The black-footed ferrets populations declined because of the close association the ferrets have with the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus), Gunnison’s prairie dog (C. gunnisoni), and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) (USFWS, 2013). The ferret relies on the prairie dogs for food and utilizes the prairie dog’s burrows for shelter. The destruction of habitats through the conversion of prairie land to cropland along with the poisoning of prairie dogs as pests, sylvatic plague and other diseases led to the prairie dog population decline (USFWS, 2013). The ferret populations…show more content…
The objectives of the recovery plan is to remove the ferret from the threatened/endangered list and in order to achieve this the plan will begin working on downlisting the species before finally removal. The downlisting objectives include the establishment of at least “1,500 breeding adults, in 10 or more populations” across at least 6 of the 12 historical range states and maintaining the population at least three years before downlisting the species (USFWS, 2013). Additionally, maintaining an approximate 247,000 acres of prairie dog habitat and conserving and managing a minimum of 280 breeding adults across three facilities to insure a healthy stock (USFWS, 2013). In order for complete delisting of the species the goal numbers are double of the wild breeding ferret at 3000 and the total acreage 494,000 (USFWS,

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