First BFF in 30 years
The black-footed ferret population near Meeteetse, Wyo. is getting a boost. Last July, 35 black-footed ferrets were released on the Lazy BV and Pitchfork ranches. Now biologists have found wild born kits at the site. Additionally, Game and Fish and partners released the first of 15 captive-born black-footed ferrets slated to bolster the population on the same historic landscape.
“We believe the initial ferret release at Meeteetse was extremely successful. Now with the discovery of wild-born ferrets, we are extremely excited and appreciative of the landowners and other groups who support these incredible animals,” said Zack Walker, Game and Fish statewide nongame bird and mammal program supervisor.
Black-footed ferrets are one of the most endangered mammals in North America. To work toward a self-sustaining ferret population near Meeteetse, the Game and Fish plan includes the initial large release, which occurred in July 2016, followed by two years of smaller releases to help supplement the population, the first of which began this August. The objective is to maintain at least 35 individuals at the recovery site.
To date, three wild-born kits have been discovered, and biologists suspect there are at least three litters identified. Surveys will continue until mid-September.