Volunteers needed to survey endangered black footed ferrets on Double O Ranch near Seligman

Volunteers can assist Arizona Game and Fish with documentation of endangered Black Footed Ferrets during two spotlight projects this year. The projects take place on the Double O Ranch near Seligman, Arizona. (Stock photo)

Volunteers can assist Arizona Game and Fish with documentation of endangered Black Footed Ferrets during two spotlight projects this year. The projects take place on the Double O Ranch near Seligman, Arizona. (Stock photo)

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In 2017, volunteers clocked more than 2,000 hours in the spring and fall projects. (AZGFD)

SELIGMAN, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking volunteers to assist with spotlighting efforts to help document the population of endangered black-footed ferrets in Aubrey Valley and on the Double O Ranch near Seligman.

The department has scheduled two spring spotlighting projects — March 29-31 and April 26-29. The spotlighting method involves using high-powered lights to locate and identify black-footed ferrets. Their eyeshine is reflected by the spotlight and helps surveyors with identifying and locating these elusive, nocturnal carnivores.

Volunteers must have the ability to stay attentive from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. while spotlighting for black-footed ferrets and use, or learn how to use, a Global Positioning System (GPS). More information or to volunteer is available at azferret@azgfd.gov — with “spring spotlighting” in the subject line — by March 23 for this month’s project and by April 20 for the later opportunity.

Volunteers are asked to include their full name, a contact phone number, month(s) and night(s) available to spotlight and full names of others who also will be attending (a parent or guardian must accompany any youth under 18). Game and Fish said volunteers should note any equipment they can bring, such as GPS, clipboard, headlamp, pen, binoculars, walkie-talkies, compass, cordless rechargeable spotlight, backpack or 4X4 vehicle.

A total of 19 individual black-footed ferrets were captured in 2017, up from 16 in 2016. Almost 200 volunteers totaled 2,086 spotlighting hours over the course of the spring and fall projects.

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