Rare ferrets released in Kansas

Black-footed ferrets — one of North America’s most endangered mammals — were released last week in a restoration effort at a prairie dog colony in western Kansas.

The release was on 10,000 acres where three ranch owners in Logan County are cooperating because they want the natural prairie ecosystem preserved, said Ron Klataske, executive director for Audubon of Kansas. Seven more black-footed ferrets were released on a ranch in the region owned by the Nature Conservancy, a private conservation group.

Black-footed ferrets almost vanished from the West because they live exclusively in large prairie dog colonies and feed on them, Klataske said. But prairie dogs have been poisoned or their habitat has been destroyed throughout the West

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