Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs


A framework for recovery planning for the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is presented. Current species numbers are probably not sufficient to maintain longterm viability. Three options are presented for increasing ferret numbers: (1) increase available habitat for ferrets where they currently exist, (2) find more wild ferrets elsewhere, and (3) directly manipulate the ferret population through translocation and/ or captive rearing. The first two options are either unlikely or currently unfeasable, making it necessary to initiate the third option to ensure ferret recovery. Even if additional ferret populations are located, option three should still be implemented. Three options for direct manipulation to increase ferret numbers and populations are discussed along with accompanying considerations. The captive-rearing/translocation option for species recovery is strongly recommended.