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A Second Chance for Black-Footed Ferrets

Once thought to be globally extinct, black-footed ferrets are making a comeback.

For the last thirty years, concerted efforts from many state and federal agencies, Indian tribes, conservation organizations and private landowners are giving black-footed ferrets a second chance for survival.

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the rediscovery of the black-footed ferret, which was found on September 26, 1981 near Meeteetse, Wyoming.

View this photo gallery to learn about WWF’s work to restore populations of ferrets and their prey:


Hope for the future
Recovery efforts have helped restore the black-footed ferret population to 1,000 animals across North America. The recovery of the black-footed ferret is a key step in WWF’s efforts to restore a living prairie.

By working with scientists, government leaders and traditional land stewards, like ranchers and native tribes, WWF is helping to safeguard America’s native prairie wildlife and maintain a cherished way of life for local communities.

“With 2011 marking the 30th anniversary of the rediscovery of the black-footed ferret, we now have more reason than ever to celebrate. Through these relocation efforts, we have established approximately 5,600 acres of prairie dog colonies, creating nearly half of the area needed to restore a self-sustaining population of black-footed ferrets to Thunder Basin grasslands.”

-Kristy Bly, WWF wildlife biologist, Northern Great Plains