Black footed ferret and prairie dog relationship

Black-Footed Ferret

black footed ferret and prairie dog relationship

The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) was first thought to be resistant to Y. pestis owing to the relative The decline of black-footed ferrets paralleled the loss of prairie dog towns. .. The Need for a Good Public Relations Department. rarest mammals of North America; ferrets are most often associated with prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) on which they are thought to be obligatory predators. Find out why the black-footed ferret teeters on the brink of extinction. it to crawl in and out of the holes and dwellings of its primary prey—the prairie dog.

Photo by Dean Biggins, U.

black footed ferret and prairie dog relationship

Guest blogger Cara Smusiak is a journalist and regular contributor to NaturallySavvy. Plague once struck mortal fear in humans, but it's a thing of the past, right?

Not so, according to research published in a special issue of the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseaseswhich focused solely on plague.

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Two of the papers in the issue were co-authored by a U. Geopogical Survey USGS researcher, and they reveal that plague has hindered recovery of the critically endangered black-footed ferret and several species of prairie dogs including the threatened Utah prairie dogand it's not just an episodic problem.

The impacts of plague on mammal populations remain unknown for all but a few species, but the impact on those species we have studied raises alarms as well as important questions about how plague might be affecting conservation efforts in general.

As it spreads across an area, it devastates wildlife populations and can infect humans. The problem with plague is it's difficult to detect unless there is a large death toll among a species, Biggins says: The overall difficulty of detecting plague in the absence of a large-scale die-off serves as a warning for those dedicated to wildlife conservation and human health. What eats black-footed ferrets?

Black-Footed Ferrets vs. Prairie Dogs | PetHelpful

Black-footed ferrets in the wild are susceptible to becoming prey themselves. Common predators of ferrets include coyotes Canis latransbadgers Taxidea taxus and great-horned owls Bubo virginianus.

Other predators can include bobcats Lynx rufus and hawks and eagles. Where do black-footed ferrets live?

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Black-footed ferrets live in the burrows of prairie dogs, sometimes of prairie dogs they have eaten. Ferrets are relatively poor diggers and do not dig their own burrows. Prairie dog burrows can be as much as 15 feet deep and 60 feet long and sometimes connect with other burrows.

Why are black-footed ferrets endangered? Black-footed ferrets require prairie dogs for food and shelter. Since the early 's humans have eradicated prairie dogs and destroyed prairie dog habitat. Ranchers perceive the prairie dog as a competitor for the grass that their cattle eat and thus have poisoned prairie dogs with harmful chemicals that sometimes killed other animals. Also, many prairie dog towns have been plowed over for crop fields or destroyed for human development.

Black-Footed Ferrets vs. Prairie Dogs

Diseases, such as sylvatic plaguehave also been a factor in reducing prairie dog populations. As human encroachment and other factors reduced the populations of prairie dogs, thus ferret populations were reduced.

Only 18 black-footed ferrets existed inmaking it one of the most endangered animals in the world.

black footed ferret and prairie dog relationship

How many black-footed ferrets are there? In there were only 18 black-footed ferrets left. Captive breeding was successful and produced enough young kits that they could be placed into other zoos for breeding and reintroductions back into the wild. Approximately black-footed ferrets reside in zoos and breeding centers throughout North America and another black-footed ferrets survive in the wild at sites in the US, Mexico and Canada.

Can I own a black-footed ferret? Black-footed ferrets are an endangered species and different than ferrets kept as pets.

black footed ferret and prairie dog relationship

It is against the law to possess an endangered species without a permit. What is the difference between a black-footed ferret and a pet ferret? Black-footed ferrets are the only ferret species native to North America and are a different species than ferrets kept as pets, which are actually European ferrets.