The black footed ferret
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The Black-Footed Ferret. Amanda Heyn, Laura Icenhour, & Evan Fitch. Background. Black-Footed Ferrets are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae) Ferrets are nocturnal and do most hunting at night. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/staticfiles/NGS/Shared/

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The Black-Footed Ferret

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The Black-Footed Ferret

Amanda Heyn, Laura Icenhour, & Evan Fitch


Background

  • Black-Footed Ferrets are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae)

  • Ferrets are nocturnal and do most hunting at night

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/staticfiles/NGS/Shared/

StaticFiles/animals/images/primary/black-footed-ferret.jpg


Background Cont’d

  • The Black-Footed Ferret prey on prairie dogs and lives in their burrows

  • Ferrets were thought

    to be extinct

  • A population of ferrets was found in 1981

http://www.nps.gov/wica/naturescience/images/Prairie-Dogs.jpg


Survival Factors

  • Cancer carried on recessive allele

  • Susceptibility to Canine distemper

    • A contagious, incurable, often fatal, multisystemic viral disease affecting the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems in mammals.

    • Canine distemper is fatal for ferrets 100% of the time.

    • First introduced to ferret population in 1981


Geographical Location

  • Ferrets were once found throughout the Great Plains, from Texas to southern Saskatchewan, Canada.

  • Since 1985, efforts have been made to breed the ferrets in captivity and then reintroduce them into the wild.

http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/wildlife/ferret.asp


Bottleneck effect refers to the reduction of a population’s gene pool and the accompanying changes in gene frequency produced when a few members survive the widespread elimination of a species.

The black footed ferrets underwent a bottleneck effect resulting in the last wild population site of ferrets to be discovered in Meeteetse, Wyoming 1981.

About 25% of the original 19 founders’ genes have made it into the current population.

Bottleneck Effect


If canine distemper had been allowed to continue in the population in Wyoming…

  • Would the prevalent genotypes reverse?

  • Would the dangerous recessive allele lead to an increased number of ferret death?


Vensim Model


Genotypes

1

0.5

0

0

2

4

6

8

10

Time (Month)

Homozygous Dominant : Current

Heterozygous : Current

Homozygous Recessive : Current

Total Pop : Current


Vensim Key

  • Homozygous Dominant=Blue

    • As time increases dominant allele decreases

  • Homozygous Recessive=Green

    • As time increases dangerous recessive allele levels off

  • Heterozygous=Red

    • As time increases heterozygous allele remains unaffected


Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium

p² + 2pq + q² = 1

p + q =1

p2 =.33 Total Population=180

p=.57 HD=42

q=.43 HR=59

q2 =.18 H=79

2pq=.49


Hardy-Weinberg Graph

  • X axis=P

  • Y axis=Q

  • As P increases Q decreases

  • P=.57

  • Q=.43


Pictures

http://www.pc.gc.ca/nature/eep-sar/itm3-/images/MikeLockhart2-.jpg

http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/03/images/black_footed_ferrets.jpg

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/08/10/black_footedferret1_wideweb__470x314,0.jpg

http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2007/05/14/526310/BlackFootedFerrets04Web.jpg


Resources

  • Averting Extinction, Tim W. Clark

  • Prairie Night; Brian Miller, Richard P. Reading, and Steve Forrest

  • http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/black-footed_ferret.php

  • www.animalhealthgeneral.com


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