One of my favorite creatures God created is the ferret. These feisty mustelids have a special place in my heart and since a small child I have been fascinated with the highly endangered black-footed ferret. It was one of the first endangered species I became aware of and when I learned they formerly roamed my home state of Texas, it gave me a little extra interest in them.
Here is some fascinating and exclusive Kingdom Zoo news.
I sent a few questions about ferret restoration to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department wildlife division biologist Calvin Richardson and got the following reply.
What is the status of rumored re-stocking efforts?
After 4 outreach/information meetings over the past 3 years (Amarillo, Dalhart, Austin, Dalhart), the Texas Black-footed Ferret (BFF) Working Group was considering a reintroduction of BFFs in the northwest Panhandle during the fall of 2013. The site we were considering was the Rita Blanca National Grasslands (the southern portion, south of High Lonesome Road). During the recent meeting of the Texas Black-footed Ferret Working Group on August 12th, the working group members agreed that the drought and past years of drier than average conditions over the High Lonesome have created less than favorable conditions for prairie dog densities, which has direct implications for survival of black-footed ferrets. TPWD will therefore not seek to reintroduce ferrets in Texas in 2013, but instead focus on a potential reintroduction in 2014 on the High Lonesome next fall.
What area of the state would they be returned to?
We are considering Rita Blanca National Grasslands in Dallam County.
We will have much more on ferret restoration as we learn more ourselves. Excited!
Chester Moore, Jr.