Study

Landscape features influence postrelease predation on endangered black-footed ferrets

  • Published source details Poessel S.A., Breck S.W., Biggins D.E., Livieri T.M., Crooks K.R. & Angeloni L. (2011) Landscape features influence postrelease predation on endangered black-footed ferrets. Journal of Mammalogy, 92, 732-741.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release captive-bred mammals into fenced areas

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release captive-bred individuals to re-establish or boost populations in native range

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Release captive-bred mammals into fenced areas

    A replicated study in 1996–1997 in three grassland sites in South Dakota, USA (Poessel et al. 2011) found that at least half of captive-bred black-footed ferrets Mustela nigripes released into fenced areas where predators were managed survived more than two weeks. At each of the three sites, 48% (12 of 25), 50% (9 of 18) and 89% (32 of 36) of captive-bred ferrets released into the wild survived for at least two weeks (long-term survival is not reported). Overall, twenty-four ferrets were killed by native predators (mostly great-horned owls Bubo virginianus and coyotes Canis latrans) and the cause of death of two others could not be determined. A total of 79 captive-bred black-footed ferrets were released across three mixed-grass prairie sites (18–36 ferrets/site) in September–October 1996 and October–November 1997. A 107 cm high electric fence was installed in each release site (creating 2 km2 enclosures) and activated 1-2 weeks prior to ferrets being released. Ferrets were able to move in and out of the fenced areas. Low-to-moderate lethal coyote control took place for 2-3 weeks each year prior to ferrets being released. Each of the 79 ferrets was radio-tagged and tracked every 5–30 min/night for two weeks post-release in 1996–1997.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

  2. Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control

    A replicated study in 1996–1997 in three grassland sites in South Dakota, USA (Poessel et al. 2011) found that at least half of captive-bred black-footed ferrets Mustela nigripes released into an area where predators were managed survived more than two weeks. At each of the three sites, 48% (12 of 25), 50% (9 of 18) and 89% (32 of 36) of captive-bred ferrets released into the wild survived for at least two weeks (long term survival is not reported). Overall, twenty-four ferrets were killed by native predators (mostly great-horned owls Bubo virginianus and coyotes Canis latrans) and the cause of death of two others could not be determined. A total of 79 captive-bred black-footed ferrets were released across three mixed-grass prairie sites (18–36 ferrets/site) in September–October 1996 and October–November 1997. Low-to-moderate lethal coyote control took place for 2-3 weeks each year prior to ferrets being released. A 107 cm high electric fencing was installed in each release site (creating 2 km2 enclosures) and activated 1-2 weeks prior to ferrets being released. Ferrets were able to move in and out of the fenced areas. Each of the 79 ferrets was radio-tagged and tracked every 5–30 min/night for two weeks post-release in 1996–1997.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

  3. Release captive-bred individuals to re-establish or boost populations in native range

    A replicated study in 1996–1997 in three grassland sites in South Dakota, USA (Poessel et al. 2011) found that over half of released captive-bred black-footed ferrets Mustela nigripes survived more than two weeks. At each of the three sites, 48% (12 of 25), 50% (9 of 18) and 89% (32 of 36) of captive-bred ferrets released into the wild survived for at least two weeks (long term survival is not reported). Overall, 53 out of 79 captive-bred black-footed ferrets (67%) survived more than two weeks after release into the wild. Twenty-four ferrets were killed by native predators (mostly great-horned owls Bubo virginianus and coyotes Canis latrans) and the cause of death of two others could not be determined. A total of 79 captive-bred black-footed ferrets were released across three mixed-grass prairie sites (18–36 ferrets/site) in September–October 1996 and October–November 1997. Between 18 and 35 individuals were released at each site. Each of the 79 ferrets was radio-tagged and tracked every 5–30 min/night for two weeks post-release in 1996–1997.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust