BFF Recovery Program.
The only ferret native to North America, the black-footed ferret (BFF) once thrived across grass prairies from Canada to Mexico. But today it is one of the most endangered mammals in North America.
Black-footed ferrets came to the brink of extinction in the mid 1980s when only eighteen animals remained. The main cause of their decline was loss of habitat as a result of disease and extermination of prairie dogs, the ferrets’ primary food source.
To restore the native ferret population to North America’s Great Plains, five zoos, including Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, have partnered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in an aggressive captive breeding and reintroduction program that is making progress toward recovering the native ferret population. To date, about 4,500 ferrets have been released back to the wild and about 150-220 more are released annually after a preconditioning process.
BFF’s In the News:
- Black-Footed Ferrets Video – National Geographic 2015
- 2013 Black-footed Ferret Progress Report – Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team, April, 30 2014
- NRCS seeks volunteers for black-footed ferret conservation program –The Lamar Ledger, April 26, 2014
- VIDEO: Black-footed Ferrets – Colorado Outdoors – Colorado Parks & Wildlife, December, 2013
- VIDEO: Proposed legislation would reintroduce black-footed ferret – The Gazette, March 13, 2013
- The Role of Zoos in Black-footed Ferret Recovery; Episode 2 – Prairie Wildlife Research, Feburary 2013
- "Della Garelle, DVM Saving the Black Footed Ferret from extinction" – Passionate About Pets Radio Interview, Nov. 2012
- "Saving the Black-footed Ferret from Extinction" – CMZ In Between the Spots Blog, Nov. 8, 2012
- "Ferrets Boot Camp" – CMZ & BFF’s on ABC News – Nightline, July 6, 2012
- Black-Footed Ferrets: Captive Breeding – Wyoming Game & Fish Dept. Series, Part 3
- Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Black-Footed Ferret Rediscovery:
- Part I – CMZoo Blog, April 4, 2011
- Part II: History – CMZoo Blog, May 13 2011
- Part III: Morning Duties – CMZoo Blog, June 7, 2011
- Part IV: Beginning of Breeding Season – CMZoo Blog, June 12, 2011
- Part V: Breeding Season – CMZoo Blog, June 20, 2011
- Part VI: Breeding Season – CMZoo Blog, July 1, 2011
- Part VII: Breeding Season – CMZoo Blog, July 7, 2011
- Part VIII: Breeding Season – CMZoo Blog, August 5, 2011
- Part IX: Breeding Season – CMZoo Blog, August 11, 2011
- For more information view CMZoo’s work with Black-footed ferrets.