What an awesome experience to be a part of! Fiesty ferrets being released into the wild in efforts of one of Vermejo’s conservation projects took place at the Castle Rock landmark on the ranch.
Copied Article posted on the Vermejo Park Ranch website:
“In 1998, Vermejo Park Ranch and the Turner Endangered Species Fund partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an effort to restore the endangered black-footed ferret to the wild. The ferret project began as a pen-based breeding facility and evolved into an experimental release site. Following a ten-year restoration effort, black-footed ferrets were successfully and permanently released into their native New Mexico habitat on Vermejo Park in the fall of 2008.
When Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park, LLC purchased Vermejo Park in 1996, the Ranch had fewer than 500 acres of prairie dog habitat. Black-footed ferrets are obligate predators of prairie dogs and, as such, require large acreages of prairie dogs for both food and shelter. In 1999, Vermejo Park began expanding its prairie dog colonies with the goal of becoming a release site for ferrets. Today, Vermejo Park has over 8,000 acres of habitat occupied by prairie dogs, a keystone species on the short-grass prairie.”