An Emmy for Black-Footed Ferrets!

Patrick Emmy

Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, a nationwide television show produced at Clemson University, came to South Dakota in 2009 to film several episodes about the Great Plains. Patrick, one of today’s premier naturalists, and his crew spent many days without sleep capturing footage of prairie plants, bison and prairie dogs. They really wanted to delve into the story of black-footed ferrets but needed help. As Patrick asked many folks about who to contact for black-footed ferrets there was one, unanimous answer: “Get in touch with Travis Livieri at Prairie Wildlife Research.”

Patrick, his crew and I spent some time together in June 2009, chasing black-footed ferrets and few other critters. We were able to capture amazing, and now famous, footage of a prairie dog and black-footed ferret interacting in the daylight. It was absolutely incredible and you can read about it here.


The show aired nationwide on many PBS stations in 2010 and was a great hit. Eventually it was nominated for an Emmy. Now, Patrick and his crew had been nominated for an Emmy a few times before but had never won. They were beginning to feel like Susan Lucci, the daytime soap star who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award 21 times, but failed to win until the 21st time. This time Patrick and crew had black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs on their side and on June 18, 2011 won an Emmy!

The episode “Great Plains II: Ghost of the Plains” won in the category Informational/Instructional – Program/Special. You can own a copy of this Emmy award-winning episode now! If your PBS station does not broadcast “Expeditions with Patrick McMillan” then you need to contact them now! You will be entertained and educated about the natural world like you never have before.