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, partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an aggressive captive breeding and reintroduction program that is making progress toward recovering the native ferret population.