Between dusk and dawn today and Monday, Travis Livieri will
spotlight some of the rarest species of mammals in South Dakota.
for the green-eyed, reflective shine of the black-footed ferret,
the director of Prairie Wildlife Research and U.S. Forest Service
personnel will be setting traps.
the animals are nocturnal, the trapping expedition will begin after
9 p.m. and finish by sunrise the next morning in the Conata Basin
near Wall, Livieri said.
been doing this for eight to nine years; and, I'm more comfortable
working at night than in the daytime," he said.
Tuesday, 30 minutes from downtown Rosebud, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Game, Fish & Park Service will introduce the captured ferrets
onto the reservation.
plan on releasing about a dozen of them, give or take a few,"
Greg Jackson said.
a biologist with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe's Game, Fish and Park Service,
has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a haven
for the ferrets.
have an area of prairie dogs on about 10,000 acres set aside for
the ferret habitat," Jackson said.
Wildlife Research is a non-profit corporation, headquartered in
Wall, which conducts research and works to conserve wildlife species
of the prairie and their associated habitats. PWR works with federal
and state agencies, universities, private landowners, and other
animals will be left to thrive on their own. But the wildlife officials
will watch how well the animals take to their new surroundings.
kits Livieri wants to capture were born in July 2003.
will be the young of the year, we have them marked," he said.
scanners, they can determine the age and other information about
done phenomenally well here," Livieri said.
Conata Basin has a standing population of 275 black-footed ferrets.
has high expectations for the Rosebud release.
one time thought to be extinct, ferret populations have increased
through conservation efforts to protect the creatures.
turning point came about 13 years ago when a officials discovered
a colony near Meeteetse, Wyo.
ranch dog brought a carcass to his owner. Unable to identify the
animal, the man took it to a taxidermist who identified it, Livieri
are only 500 total in the wild, they're extremely rare," he
Wildlife Research has reintroduced ferret colonies in Montana, Wyoming,
Arizona and Mexico.
Jomay Steen at 394-8418 or email@example.com.