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August 31, 2010

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August 31, 2010

In April 2005 I had the pleasure of meeting Travis Livieri and learning about the black-footed ferret (BFF) and the efforts of Prairie Wildlife Research (PWR) to reestablish this endangered mammal in the Great Plains of South Dakota. In the fall it was my privilege and pleasure to join Travis, graduate students, Fish & Wildlife employees and other volunteers who gathered to count, examine and study the ferrets living in the grasslands. As a domesticated ferret owner and rescue volunteer, disaster services volunteer and a doctoral student in Animal Science, I was quite familiar with research techniques, rescue and the domesticated counterpart of the BFF. I had never been involved with the rescue of an endangered species in the field, however. The opportunity to travel to a new place and work with both government and private sector people to help save this beautiful animal was an experience that awakened my heart to the wonders of this great land. Because of PWR I fell in love with the prairie and recommitted myself to improving the land. This is what PWR does. Reaching out to people a few at a time, it educates and involves people who never knew about the black-footed ferret and its plight to both the animal and the opportunities to make a difference in our world. People who didn’t understand now support the efforts and in groups to which I belong, I have seen large sums of money be raised to donate to this cause by people who have very little as individuals. The active breeding program at the National Zoo is now a frequently watched site. If not for the international efforts of PWR, my children and grandchildren - and all future generations - might never have known of the BFF except in books and pictures.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own life on a daily basis. My donations, volunteer work and lifestyle have been directly impacted and influenced by PWR opportunities. An animal that would be extinct is not because of the efforts of PWR.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have a larger staff, volunteer or paid. There are numerous opportunities to which PWR could avail itself with more manpower. The current staff is spread too thin to grow the group to its maximum potential.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity for hands-on experience and sharing those experiences with others. It also gave me the opportunity to learn more about a part of nature with which I had little experience.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professional biologists and office personnel, as well as veterinarians, graduate students and employees of world-renowned wildlife organizations, as well as advocates in conservation.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create opportunities not only for the black-footed ferret, but other endangered prairie habitats and wildlife throughout the North American continent.

Ways to make it better...

it had been longer. Thank you, Travis and PWR, for the opportunity to be involved and leading me to fall in love with the secrets of the prairie!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The non-profits that produce results are not always the ones who get the publicity. What this group has achieved with the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret should serve as an inspiration to all conservationists.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

August 26, 2010

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August 26, 2010

I first met Travis Livieri when I invited him to give a talk at the 2005 International Ferret Symposium. Since then, a mutually beneficial relationship has existed between the domestic and black-footed ferret communities. We get the opportunity to learn about and help this wild cousin of our pets. Travis and his very small team display an unparalleled dedication to saving the black-footed ferret. Through their efforts, and those of other determined researchers and volunteers, the BFF has gone from being thought extinct to having a firm toehold in our prairies. My most memorable experience was when I got to release a young female BFF into a conditioning pen at the BFF Conservation Center. Today she may be raising a litter of wild-born kits somewhere in the midst of our great prairies.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I feel a sense of pride and hope for our nation every time I read about a litter of wild-born kits to a wild-born mother being found at an introduction site.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The wonderful dedication of the staff.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

August 25, 2010

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August 25, 2010

Prairie Wildlife Research does a fantastic job of stretching every dollar that is donated for maximum impact on the ground. I am amazed at the dedication of the PWR staff and volunteers. The work that they perform is arduous and makes a direct, hands-on impact on one of the most endangered mammals in North America.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Conata Basin, South Dakota

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

having a hand-on opportunity to work with one of the most endangered mammals in North America.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, creative, passionate and hard-working.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have amazing and tangible results on the ground through out North America.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 22, 2010

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August 22, 2010

2 yrs ago I went with the PWR crew to Conata Basin. We trapped and vaccinated black footed ferrets and captured some for relocation at other sites. Why this is a great non-profit? Your donations go directly to helping one of the rarest North American mammals--not on endless junk mailings and address labels!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the results for myself

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Actually making a difference

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly dedicated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the future of a species

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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