Thursday, November 15, 2007

From Defenders of Wildlife

Please take a stand for black-footed ferrets today.

(To take action easily online, visit:

Dear Faye,

Larry and Bette Haverfield and other heroic ranchers want to bring endangered black-footed ferrets back to the Kansas prairie. But these dedicated conservationists need your support to make it happen.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just issued a proposal to reintroduce endangered black-footed ferrets on the Haverfields' private lands in Logan County, in the heart of western Kansas, but some people are trying to stop it. Let officials know you think it’s a good idea.

Black-footed ferrets were thought to be long gone -- until a ranch dog named Shep made a surprising discovery while digging in a prairie dog hole in the early 80s. Ever since this chance discovery, it has been an up-hill battle to restore black-footed ferrets to the Great Plains.

They are making a steady recovery in captive breeding programs across the American west, but it's been challenging to find suitable habitat -- and enough of it -- to release this endangered species back into the wild.

Take action now -- tell officials that you support the black-footed ferret comeback in Kansas.

Fortunately, the Haverfields and several courageous ranchers in western Kansas are hoping to provide a home for black-footed ferrets on their private lands. Black-footed ferrets need lots of space and lots of prairie dogs in order to survive. And their properties fit the bill exactly. Together, the Haverfields and their neighbors have the largest prairie dog complex in the state.

And Logan County, where the Haverfields live, is a great site for reintroduction efforts because it's free of sylvatic plague -- a deadly disease that affects prairie dogs and ferrets -- giving the black-footed ferret an even better chance at long-term survival.

Prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets -- the predators that evolved with them -- are essential for healthy grassland ecosystems and draw an abundance of rare prairie species including swift fox, ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls and golden and bald eagles.

Help write an endangered species success story -- and defend good-hearted ranchers who are trying to do the same. Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service that you support their plan to bring black-footed ferrets back to Kansas.

The deadline to submit comments on the proposal is this Monday, November 19th, so please take a stand for black-footed ferrets today.

Thanks for doing all you can to make a difference for these endangered creatures and the people who are trying to bring them back to the prairie.


Jonathan Proctor
Great Plains Representative
Defenders of Wildlife

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