In order to save the species, the remaining black-footed ferrets from a rapidly declining population were removed from prairie dog colonies outside of Meeteetse, Wyoming. The fate of the black-footed ferret was now solely in the hands of captive breeding. Initially, not much was known about the reproductive biology of the black-footed ferret. While earlier attempts to breed members of the Mellette County South Dakota population in captivity were successful in the 1970s, none of the resulting offspring survived. Biologists in the 1980s with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service convened domestic ferret breeders and reproductive experts from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Together, this team of wildlife professional were successful in breeding black-footed ferrets in captivity and formulating a captive breeding program for this endangered species.
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