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Black-Footed Ferret

Black-Footed Ferret

Black-Footed Ferret
Photographer: Jessica De Smet

Black-Footed Ferrets

Black-Footed Ferret Range Map (Central USA)
Black-Footed Ferret Range Map (Central USA)
Attribution: IUCN, species assessors & spatial data authors
Latin Name Mustela nigripes
Conservation Status Critically Endangered
Location Central USA
Colour Yellowish/Brown
Length 38 - 41 cms (15 - 16 inches)
Tail 11 - 13 cms (4.25 - 5 inches)
Weight 900 - 1,000 g (32 - 36 oz)
Life Expectancy


Main Characteristics

Black-Footed Ferrets have a body length between 38 and 41 cms (16 - 16 inches), a tail length between 11 and 13 cms (4.25 - 5 inches) and they weigh between 900 and 1,000 g (32 - 36 oz).

They have a long, slender body and very short legs. Their fur is white at the base but darkens towards the tips, making them appear yellowish/brown in colour. They have black feet, a black face mask and a black tip on their tail.


Black-Footed Ferrets inhabit the prairies of North America. They were once considered extinct in the wild, but populations have been reintroduced to south east Wyoming, north east Montana and western South Dakota.


More than 90% of the Black-Footed Ferret's diet is made up of prairie dogs. They will also eat birds and insects.


After a gestation period of 35 - 45 days, Black-Footed Ferrets give birth to a litter of 1 - 6 young in an underground burrow. When the youngsters reach 6 weeks old they begin to venture out of the burrow and they are independent at around 6 months. They reach sexual maturity at 12 months old.


There are no subspecies of the Black-Footed Ferret.

Interesting Facts

Watch a Black-Footed Ferret video. Continue>

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