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Good question. Habitat for black-footed ferrets really comes down to one thing - prairie dogs.  Not only do ferrets eat almost exclusively prairie dogs (about 90% or more of their diet is prairie dogs), but they also rely on prairie dogs for their burrows, which ferrets use for shelter, safety, and a place to raise young. Because an adult ferret will eat about one prairie dog every three days, an individual ferret can eat over 100 prairie dogs in a single year!  At this rate, each ferret needs about 50-100 acres of prairie dogs to survive. So, when the Game and Fish evaluates potential habitat for black-footed ferrets, we focus our efforts on ensuring that there will be enough healthy prairie dogs available to support a healthy population of ferrets.

Nichole Bjornlie
Nongame Mammal Biologist

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