Resource Ramblings 2007 - 12
Black-footed Ferrets at Wind Cave National Park
After a 30 year absence black-footed ferrets were returned to Wind Cave National Park. Forty-nine ferrets were released over a 5 month period. To help determine the success or failure of such a release, US Fish and Wildlife Service requires follow up monitoring to take place. The mostly widely accepted form of surveying or monitoring for black-footed ferrets is through nighttime spotlighting surveys.
Summary of Spotlight Surveys: Three of the four prairie dog colonies where 45 of the 49 black-footed ferrets had been released, were surveyed over a five day period between October 30 – November 16, 2007.
A total of 18 – 20 individual ferrets (40-44%) were observed, with 10 being identified. Breakdown of those identified include:
In the first location 24 ferrets had been released over a 4 month period prior to when the foot surveys were completed. One additional ferret was released after the October foot surveys were completed but prior to the November roadside survey (total released = 25).
Observed 10-11 of the 25 ferrets (40-44%) that had been released from July 4th – November 6th. Observers were able to get readings on 07 of the 10-11 ferrets.
The second location had 14 ferrets released over a 4 month time period prior to when these surveys were completed.
Observed 05 of the 14 ferrets (36%) that had been released from July 4th – October 3rd. Observers were able to get readings on 02 of the 05 ferrets.
The last area had six ferrets released over a 4 month time period prior to when these surveys were completed.
Observed 03-04 of the 06 ferrets (50-67%) that had been released on September 3rd. Observers were able to get readings on 1 of the 03-04 ferrets.