(COLORADO) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) celebrated a decade of conservation work to restore the endangered black-footed ferret and released a video documenting its history, along with CPW’s recovery efforts.

The video talks about how the black-footed ferret was thought to be extinct due to habitat loss, widespread poisoning of prairie dog colonies, and disease.

In 1981 a colony was discovered on a ranch in Wyoming. CPW said the colony had 129 ferrets but the population started experiencing significant declines due to canine distemper and sylvatic plague diseases.

According to CPW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife captured the remaining 18 wild ferrets and set up a captive breeding and species preservation program. Of those 18 ferrets, 7 were able to breed and became the seed population for all later captive breeding and recovery efforts.

Currently, Colorado is one of eight states and over 50 total partner agencies involved with the recovery of the species through reintroduction.

In 2001, black-footed ferrets were reintroduced in Colorado at Wolf Creek, north of Rangely, however, after dozens were released over several years, the site succumbed to a plague outbreak and collapsed in 2010.

A new Eastern Plains reintroduction strategy started in 2013 with the release of 500 ferrets at six sites over a period of years.

CPW said the restoration is considered successful when released animals begin reproducing on their own in the wild and Recovery Plan goals are met.

The most successful natural breeding site in Colorado is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City.

The efforts of the federal captive breeding program, with the participation of zoos, are bolstered by the work of CPW conservation biologists.

“To be able to put those animals back in the ecosystem where they belong – it still gives me goosebumps,” said Tina Jackson, CPW’s Species Conservation Coordinator.