<CENTER> Endangered Species and Habitat Restoration

Endangered Species and Habitat Restoration

Black-footed ferret
"Mustella nigripes"

Our Department is involved with the reintroduction of a endangered species called the Black footed ferret "Mustela nigripes". The black footed ferret is the most endangered mammal in North America, it requires large numbers of prairie dog colonies which we have within the reservation. With the assistance of the US Fish and Wildlife Service our first release of ferrets occurred in 2000 at that time we released a total of sixty nine ferrets.

As of today we have released a total of two hundred and one (201) ferrets, with releases in the following years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004. With spotlighting and micro-chipping data there have been over ninety-five (95) kits sighted this year and thirty (30) adults spotted and micro-chipped since September.   Of the thirty (30), adults twenty-three were wild born. Spotlight surveys of all East Moreau areas containing ferrets will continue until early January 2006.

The blacked tailed prairie dog "Cynomys ludovicianus" is a very important species to the prairie ecosystem, they bring to there colonies over 170 to 200 different species. They also work to restore water through their digging activities back to the water table as well as soil aeration. We are aware of the decline of the prairie dog population in other areas of the United States by 98% in the past century, but we support many acres of prairie dog colonies within the reservation. We strive to conserve and manage this species at an acceptable levels. We manage this by monitoring population numbers and control methods such as range management and hunting With the knowledge that poisoning directly effects all species associated within a colony we only use poisoning in areas around cemeteries, churches and communities where poisoning is allowed.

Black tailed prairie dog "Cynomys ludovicianus"

Our department is also working to increase habitat restoration as well as winter protection sites for cattle as well as wildlife. By increasing the tree population by planting many species of different trees that are suitable for the prairie ecosystem. These species include eastern red cedar "Juniperus virginiana", green ash "Fraxinus pennsylvanica", cottonwood "Populus deltoides", ponderosa pine "Pinus ponderosa" and others as well. We have also planted trees in areas for home site shelter belt protection

Telephone # 605-964-8966
Fax # 605-964-8098

email: wildbio@lakotanetwork.com