Gillette, Wy –
Black footed ferrets are scheduled to be reintroduced into the Thunder Basin National Grasslands. Ferrets eat Prairie Dogs and so forest service officials are looking at ways to increase the population of prairie dogs. But part of the management plan allows for the poisoning of some Prairie dogs, so that they don't cause problems for landowners. But Duane Short of the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance says that the bigger picture is the effort to grow numbers of Prairie Dogs, which will help other animals as well.
"There are other species that we are convinced will benefit from this plan. The mountain plover, swift fox, burrowing owls, hawks - all of these are facing their own issues when it comes to long-term survival."
Short says if the effort to increase prairie dog numbers works, Black footed ferrets could be reintroduced into the area by next year.