Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Biologist excited by first rare ferret find since Meeteetse 1981

A Columbus, Neb., biologist might have discovered the first wild colony of an endangered species since the Meeteetse find in 1981. Mike Gutzmer, with Columbus-based New Century Environmental LLC, found three black-footed ferrets during an endangered species survey in South Dakota. The black-footed ferret is the most endangered mammal in America and has been on the endangered species list since 1967. It has been more than 30 years since the black-footed ferret was found in the wild in Meeteetse. There have been several populations of the animal reintroduced by scientists over the years in eight states. The black-footed ferret used to number in the tens of thousands, but because of habitat loss and disease, the animal faced extinction. It was presumed extinct in the wild in 1987. About 1,000 of the ferrets are recorded today, with 750 living in the wild and another 250 in captivity. The black-footed ferret is the only ferret species native to the Americas...more

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