Those who have visited us know that we don’t solely focus our education on canines. We advocate for all wildlife and animals. If you’ve been to the Center, you likely have seen our three domestic ferrets, Badger, Nixie, and Monroe. Badger is the sleepyhead in the picture. We often are asked if they are black footed ferrets, but they are European ferrets that have been rescued or given to us. Black footed ferrets are a species native to Colorado, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Their main diet consists of prairie dogs, an animal that unfortunately is treated just as poorly as coyotes. Prairie dogs are actually a keystone species, much like wolves, they keep everything in their ecosystem balanced. Some biologists believe that prairie dogs played a critical role in maintaining the millions of bison we once had living across North America. Prairie dog populations are down to 1-2% of their historic range and numbers. Any other species with a population drop that severe is usually protected by the ESA, but since people view prairie dogs as pests, they do not get any protections, putting other species that depend on them for survival (like black footed ferrets) at risk as well.
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