NEWS

Black-footed ferrets released back at spot where they were rediscovered 35 years ago

Today, one of North America’s most endangered mammals, the black-footed ferret, took another step towards recovery thanks to a historic reintroduction.

7/26/2016 11:40:47 PM

Cheyenne -

Today, one of North America’s most endangered mammals, the black-footed ferret, took another step towards recovery thanks to a historic reintroduction back to the ranches where the species was rediscovered in 1981 after having been believed to be extinct. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the owners of two ranches, released 35 black-footed ferrets. The ferrets were released on the Lazy BV and Pitchfork Ranches, outside Meeteetse, Wyoming.

 

Beginning in 1986, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service founded a successful captive breeding program for black-footed ferrets. Captive breeding continues even today and captive bred and raised ferrets have been released throughout western North America.

 

“This is a historic moment for the recovery of this species. It is an honor for the men and women who serve the public and wildlife in Wyoming to be a part of this effort. This is a biologically sound and historical place to host a reintroduction and we thank the ranch owners for their commitment to recovery of black-footed ferrets. The decades of hard work from Game and Fish and our numerous partners show in these recovery efforts,” said Scott Talbott, director of Game and Fish.

 

“Bringing the black-footed ferret home to Meeteetse is an extraordinary achievement, which is a source of pride not only for the citizens of Wyoming, but for conservationists everywhere. Countless partners have worked together for decades to ensure the survival of this remarkable species, and their diligent efforts are just as notable as the ferret's return. Today is a special day for those partners, for all of us at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and for anyone who values having wild creatures on the landscape where they belong,” said Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

The release of black-footed ferrets back onto private land is possible due to the 10 (j) rule that creates special provisions to give landowners protection if a ferret is killed during legal activities. Last year, a statewide rule was put in place to give landowners assurance they will be able to manage their properties without the concern they might break the law by inadvertently harming a ferret. Implementation of the 10(j) rule ensures the concerns of private landowners and landowners adjacent to reintroduction areas are addressed comprehensively.

 

Black-footed ferrets almost exclusively eat prairie dogs and rely on prairie dog burrows for shelter, safety, and a place to raise young. Each ferret requires 50-100 acres of prairie dog colony to survive.


The national Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team has released ferrets at 24 sites across the continent. Current numbers in the wild are encouraging, but more reintroduction sites are needed to fully recover the species so that it no longer requires federal protection.

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)

- WGFD -


Holiday gift ideas for the hunter, angler and wildlife viewer on your list

Easily find the perfect holiday gift for the person who likes to hunt, fish or enjoy wildlife with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

Continue reading...




Game and Fish announces winners of 2018 AIS raffle

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is happy to announce the winners of the 2018 Wyoming Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Boater Appreciation Raffle

Continue reading...




Transmitters following Wyoming’s burrowing owls over winter

New developments in solar-powered GPS technology are helping researchers collect more data on the elusive seasonal migration and winter ranges of burrowing owls that nest in Wyoming during the summer months. 

Continue reading...




New funding helps broaden bat research and white-nose monitoring

Wyoming bat biologists are expanding their research on the winter habitat of bats in Wyoming with new funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Continue reading...




Game and Fish wildlife habitat management areas beginning to close for winter

Many of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMA) are closing to provide protections for wildlife on their winter ranges. The majority of WHMAs close or have restrictions for the winter annually.

Continue reading...




Springer Special Pheasant Hunt looks back on 45th year

For the first Springer Special Pheasant Hunt in 1973, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department stocked 2,821 pheasants. The 806 hunters that took part harvested 1,346 birds. 

Continue reading...




Chronic wasting disease detected in Grand Teton National Park

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Health Laboratory has confirmed that an adult buck mule deer from Grand Teton National Park has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. 

Continue reading...




Thanksgiving puts spotlight on Wyoming’s bright turkey history

It wasn’t until 1955 when hunters could harvest the historic wild turkey in Wyoming. Hunters’ interest has continued to gain momentum since.

Continue reading...






Game and Fish Commission invests in mule deer habitat and migration research

Commission also directs agency to draft new regulation for technologies

Continue reading...




Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today

SHOP WYOMING GAME & FISH STORE   SHOP NOW!

Conserving Wildlife - Serving People