How are black-footed ferrets born?

How are black-footed ferrets born?

Since their arrival in 1988, more than 1,000 black-footed ferrets have been born at SCBI, including 140 born via artificial insemination. Depending on their genetic value and ability to hunt live prey, some kits remain in breeding facilities while others are released into the wild.

What did the black-footed ferret evolve from?

Mustela stromeri
The black-footed ferret’s most likely ancestor was Mustela stromeri (from which the European and steppe polecats are also derived), which originated in Europe during the Middle Pleistocene.

What is the life cycle of a black-footed ferret?

The average life span of a ferret in the wild is 1-3 years, and 4-6 years for ferrets in captivity.

What are the characteristics of a black-footed ferret?

It is a slender, wiry, animal with black feet, a black face mask, and a black-tipped tail. Its short, sleek fur is a beige-buff color, lighter on the belly and nearly white on the forehead, muzzle, and throat. Black-footed ferrets have short legs with large front paws, and claws developed for digging.

What is the common name for a black-footed ferret?

Mustela nigripes Audubon
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for the black-footed ferret is Mustela nigripes Audubon and Bachman [2,32,77].

Why did black-footed ferrets go extinct?

Decades of human persecution (e.g., poisoning) of the ferret’s favorite prey, prairie dogs, and severe outbreaks of plague and distemper led to its extinction in the wild in 1987.

How big are black-footed ferrets when they are born?

The average litter size is three to four young, but single kits, as well as litters of nine or ten, have been recorded. Only the female cares for the young. The kits are born blind and helpless, weighing only 0.2 to 0.3 ounces (5 to 9 gram) at birth, with thin, white hair covering their bodies.

When was the black footed ferret reintroduced to the wild?

Restoring Black-Footed Ferret Populations. Black-footed ferrets were first reintroduced on the Reservation in 1997, but an outbreak of sylvatic plague swept through the release sites in 1999 and decimated populations of ferrets and prairie dogs, the ferret’s main food item. Since then, prairie dog populations have rebounded,…

How big of a colony does a black footed ferret need?

Approximately 100 to 150 acres of prairie dog colony is required to support a single black-footed ferret. The link between black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs is so strong that when prairie dog populations plummeted, so did ferret populations, until almost no black-footed ferrets were left in the wild.

What kind of disease does a black footed ferret have?

Disease also poses a significant threat to black-footed ferrets. Sylvatic plague, spread by fleas, is deadly to both ferrets and prairie dogs, and has drastically reduced prairie dog populations throughout North America, nearly exterminating the food source for black-footed ferrets.

Why are black footed ferrets picky eaters?

Generally this is caused by changes in the animal’s habitat; this could be changes in living conditions or food sources. In the case of the black-footed ferret both the habitat – prairie dog towns – and their food source – prairie dogs – were changed.