• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Resource Ramblings 2007 - 12

released ferret

Please remember that spotlighting in the park is not legal.  Resouce specialist are using this research tool to better understand the reintroduction progress.  Random spotlighting disturbs the animals and is not permitted.

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:

  • Two male kits from Conata basin (released on July 4th and October 2nd)
  • Four female kits from Conata Basin (released on Sept 25th, 26th, Oct 3rd, Oct 3rd)
  • One male kit from the Colorado FCC (released on September 28th)
  • One female kit from the Colorado FCC (released on September 13th)
  • One, four-year old female from the Colorado FCC (released on September 13th)
  • One adult male from Conata Basin (released on October 2nd)

 

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.

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