Ferrets Return to Wind Cave
There is good news to share. Wind Cave National Park has restored seven black-footed ferrets to the park. In the spring, the park completed an environmental assessment and figured these ferrets could be returned to their once native home. The ferret was thought to be extinct, but through a captive ferret breeding program, offspring have been released into the wild to reignite the dwindling population. Today there are approximately 2,600 in the wild, running around in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Arizona. The recent release of ferrets in the park is part of a larger restoration effort in Wind Cave that over the next three to five years will see the addition of up to 25 more ferrets.
What I like about this story is that, unlike the Wolf restoration in Yellowstone years ago, this one isn't surrounded by a whole lot of fanfare and debate in the press. Some biologist figured out that this would be a good idea for the natural ecosystem of the park, and it was done. Way to go NPS!
For more details, here's the story in the Rapid City Journal.