A Field Guide to the Prairie

Black-footed ferret
Photo: Society for the Protection and Conservation of the Black-Footed Ferret (SPCBFF)
Black -footed Ferret
Mustela nigripes
Length: 46-61 cm or 18-24 inches
Habitat/Range: Ferrets once were found throughout the Great Plains. They live in prairie dog towns, which are found in shortgrass prairies.
Eating Habits: Black-footed ferrets eat prairie dogs and live in the burrows of prairie dogs. It takes them 4-6 days to finish eating one prairie dog.

Black-footed ferrets are members of the weasel family and are about the size of minks. They have long, slender bodies with a black mask across the face, black feet, legs, and tip of their tail. The rest of their body is a buff color. They can weigh up to 1kg or about 2.5 pounds.

Black-footed ferrets are mostly nocturnal.They are an endangered species in the United States.

On the Prairie Field Guide Index

College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
© 1999-2011 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota