I once had the honor and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Travis out with trapping and treating Black Footed Ferrets in the Conata Basin, SD. It was such an amazing experience and we were lucky enough to trap 18 ferrets and get them vaccinated, "de-parasitized" and microchipped. A few of them had already been chipped, so it was rewarding to be able to learn that these endangered animals are actually surviving in the wild, bringing them back from the brink of extinction. Without Travis and his crew of dedicated professionals, these wonderful animals wouldn't stand a chance.
Prairie Wildlife Research is an organization dedicated to preserving the fragile ecosystems of the prairie. One aspect of this ecosystem is the endangered Black Footed Ferret. Once thought to be EXTINCT, 18 ferrets were discovered and from those ferrets, the PWR has been able to replenish the praries with this amazing critter over the last 28 years. They still have a long way to go, and each dollar donated goes right back to the resources needed to help bring this species back from the brink. I had the opportunity to see first hand what the crew of PWR has to go through to keep these animls healthy in the wild. It was the most incredible experience of my life and I thank these dedicated people for all they do, year in and year out.
I have never formally met Travis; but in 2008, I found myself on the receiving end of 2 long tailed weasel kits (eyes still closed) that were referred by our local F&G to my shelter, where I take in domestic ferrets and find them homes outside of CA. Having no clue where to start, I did a lot of on-line research and made some cross country calls. Travis was one of them, and he gave me some great pointers on how to raise these mustelids for release properly. Long story short, they survived and a year later we were lucky enough to spot kits on our property. Being a lover of all things mustelid, I became very interested in what Travis was working on. He is unassuming, hardworking, gracious and dedicated to the restoration & survival of BFF's to their native habitat. I feel honored to know him and support such a worthy cause.
PWR is a fantastic organization dedicated to the conservation of black-footed ferrets and all prairie wildlife and habitat. PWR has made (and continues to make) a tremendous effort helping BFFs in South Dakota, Kansas, New Mexico, Canada, and many other places where they are currently found. Thank you PWR!!
I have had the privilege of working on a ferret project in Kansas that Travis has helped with, and I have had the opportunity to hear him speak to a group as well as individuals. He is very passionate and knowledgeable, and truly dedicated to prairie conservation. I support his organization through donations and by directing people to his very informative web site to learn more. Prairie Wildlife Research is awesome!!!!
I had the pleasure and priviledge of meeting and talking to Travis. He allowed me to ask a gizillion questions while he taught me about his project. I have immense respect for this man who quietly works to save an important factor of our prairies. Yea for Travis and Prairie Willife Research.
I have followed PRW over the years. I am more than happy to see the great strides they have accomplished in the fight to reintroduce BFF's. I look forward to the future of PRW and their role in the eventual removing of BFF's from the endangered species list. To all the employees and volunteers of PRW. You make an impact on the world. Thank you.
I still wear my Black Footed Ferret pin proudly...lots of cool stuff in the adoption packages, but it makes it all worth it just knowing that my money is going to a great cause. Kelly V.
I recently donated to the Prairie Wildlife Research and became an adoptive parent to a few Black Footed Ferrets (BFF)s. I was sent in return many trinkets, photos, a certificate, and 2 DVDs that greatly heightened my awareness to these beautiful creatures. Travis and the staff is doing an excellent job with the reintroduction and more importantly, education to the general public who, much like me, probably never heard of the BFFs until now. I commend him and all the workers at PWR and wish them continued success!
I have worked to save prairie dogs for well over a decade and have truly enjoyed the partnership and work ethic of the folks with Prairie Wildlife Research, Inc. Travis has been more than willing to share information whenever it is needed and has always been a great help with prairie dog issues we face daily. We have discussed everything from the best traps for our work and details in working with government agencies. It takes all of us working together to save our prairies and all of the wildlife we love and appreciate on our prairies.
The commitment and compassion that Travis and April have for the Mission of PWR is inspiring. What Travis does to help people understand the connection of all the Prairie species to the health of that eco-system is phenomenal. We own a horse ranch in short grass prairie land in Northern Colorado and our goal is educate people about the importance of their connection to the Whole. Through this journey we have had the opportunity to help many people understand the importance of the prairie dog in our world. Many people are often shocked when we talk about our love for the prairie dog colony that co-exists in the same pasture with our horses. When I met Travis, he helped me understand even more about the importance of the prairie dog and how difficult it is to spread that word. The black-footed ferret relies on the prairie dog for food and shelter and protection. Travis has a difficult time convincing ranchers that the prairie dog is a vital part of their desire to maintain a healthy grass land for grazing, yet he remains positive and personable in the face of adversity. I admire the fact that Travis continues to share, educate and put boots to ground in working with the black-footed ferret in an effort to restore balance to our prairie lands. Thank you Travis. Thank you April.
Prairie Wildlife Research is a great organization who has done amazing things for Black-Footed Ferrets. They strive to protect this precious species and use every donated dollar wisely.
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.
Black-footed ferrets are a very endangered species. Unfortunately they do not get the headlines or the evening news coverage they need. Prairie Wildlife Research has been the group spreading the word about black-footed ferrets and actually working directly with the ferrets in the wild. Travis and Prairie Wildlife Research have worked hard to stop the plague outbreak and are working hard to reintroduce black-footed ferrets to new recovery sites. Without Prairie Wildlife Research, the world might be without black-footed ferrets!
I don't remember how I first found out about PWR but I am glad that I did. They do great work in conservation of prarie wildlife and saving the black footed ferret from extinction. I have learned a great deal from their educational events and web site. I have also learned much from a visit to the black footed ferret conservation center north of Fort Collins, CO. There is a black footed ferret named June born in June a few years back. I was allowed to name her as part of a fund raising event I attened. I named her in honor of my mother who passed in 2002. I feel so strongly about the work that they do that I make a monthly donation for June. This is more then I do for any other organization I donate to.
Over the last several years, I have witnessed Travis Livieri and PWR work exceedingly hard on extremely limited funds to help save one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Not only does this organization and its leader work with great passion and sound science, but also works smartly and collaboratively with other organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated in the field of conservation. The black-footed ferret is still in existence today in part because of people like Travis and organizations like PWR.
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.
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.
Travis provides time and information to all with PWR website. There is no other website that has the latest information on Black-footed ferret recovery. Agencies are unable to respond like a non-profit. That is one of many great values PWR provides. The invitation to all to make a different in Black-footed ferret recovery continues to use all media methods. There is never a lack of effort, only a lack of time and funds to make even a greater impact on North America's under appreciated ecosystem - grasslands.
The story of the black-footed ferret is an almost unbelievable natural resource success story. The program started with a dog dragging a dead ferret onto a ranch near Meeteetse WY, moved to capturing what seemed to be a doomed few ferrets, to designing and implementing a captive breeding program and finally getting them back out into the wild. Thanks to many dedicated people, groups and agencies the ferret program has been and continues to be a shining star. Prairie Wildlife Research, Inc. (PWR) has been at the center of the black-footed ferret program for a long time, I may go so far as to say that many of the successes of the entire program have been the direct result of Travis Livieri and PWR. I am not familiar with the work PWR has done at any other site but I am very familiar with the Conata Basin and know that the countless hours spent by PWR coordinating, spotlighting, chipping, vaccinating ferrets have been instrumental to the success of this program. Without the PWR working behind the scenes, in the mist extreme controversy and many private individuals, state and federal agencies, I don’t believe the ferret program in Conata Basin would be as successful as it has proved to be. This review comes from a federal employee who has been involved in the program on a professional basis. After seeing how the PWR works I believe in this organization enough to invest my own money. I have adopted ferrets for my granddaughters and nieces, because I know every dime I invest in this organization goes right back out on the ground to help the prairie ecosystem.
As various factors continue to threaten conservation of black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs, and ultimately many species of prairie habitats, Prairie Wildlife Research forges ahead with sound, conservation-minded field research. PWRs efforts have been critical in establishing and maintaining prairie dog and ferret populations, and in conservation of associated species and grassland ecosystems. PWR's commitment is unending and inspiring. The organizations efforts will be key to the future of ferret conservation and other conservation efforts in the prairies.