The Black-footed Ferret (BFF) once ruled the prairies of the central U.S. in states such as Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado but after the introduction of agriculture to the fertile plains area and the eradication of the ferret’s primary prey animal, the prairie dog, the ferret was nearly wiped out. In fact, the animal was thought to have been extinct by the end of the 1970s until a very small population was discovered in Wyoming in 1981. A captive-breeding program was initiated and according to the IUCN, over 3,900 BFFs have been released back into the wild since 1991. After a modest rise in the early 2000s; the numbers have once again begun to dwindle. The latest census showed a 40% population decline recorded from 2009 to 2015, from 448 breeding adults to 295 (with only 206 in free-living environments).