Halloween Marked 5th Anniversary of Landmark Discovery for Local Biologists

COLUMBUS – Columbus biologists celebrated the 5th anniversary of discovering a species of ferret, in the same area where the movie “The Revenant” took place.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Game & Fish Director Jeff Kelly says New Century Environmental Principal Biologist Mike Gutzmer, and the now deceased Tom Murphy, documented the existence of the black footed ferret on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation for the first time ever in 2013. Halloween, October 31st, marked the 5 year anniversary of the discovery says Gutzmer.

The biologists made the discovery while conducting nocturnal spotlight surveys, near the Grand River in South Dakota, says Gutzmer. The discovery was made just a few miles, from where Hugh Glass, a mountain man, was mauled by a bear in the 1800’s, which was portrayed in the popular movie “The Revenant,” says Gutzmer.

Gutzmer says the findings will be published in the 2018 Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science, Volume 97. Also being published in the volume, will be the documentation of the Northern Long Eared Bat on Standing Rock by; Chris Shank, Kurt Tooley, and Gutzmer.

The group is still working on the Standing Rock reservation, through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant.