• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Black-footed Ferret

Black-footed Ferret - Mustela nigripes
Black-footed Ferret - Mustela nigripes
NPS Photo
 

Class

Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae, weasel family (long slender bodies, short legs) include skunks, mink, otter, weasel, martens, badger, wolverine.
Genus Mustela
Species nigripes
Name/
History
Came close to extinction in the 1970s because of the poisoning of prairie dog towns. They are in a captive-breeding program and were reintroduced to Badlands National Park in 1994. Reintroduced to Wind Cave National Park on July 4, 2007.
Size
Weight (lbs)

Male
2

Female
1-1/2

Young

Height (in) 15-18
Tail (in) 5-6
Mate Spring
Gestation 41 days
Birth June
# young 3-5
Age Unknown
Habitat/
Range
Prairies/prairie dog range. In the past, southern Canada to Texas.
Food Prairie dogs (90% of diet)
Predators Humans, badgers, coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes, eagles, owls, hawks
Disease Canine distemper, tularemia
Communication

Chattering when excited.

Behavior/
Characteristics
Mostly nocturnal.

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