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Sat, Oct. 19

Volunteers sought to help spotlight endangered black-footed ferrets Oct. 17-21
Survey results shine light on recovery effort

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)

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

As part of the recovery effort, the department has scheduled a five-night spotlighting event — Oct. 17-21. 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). Volunteers can sign up by emailing azferret@azgfd.gov – with “fall spotlighting” in the subject line – by Oct. 11. Space is limited.

Volunteers are reminded 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). Volunteers also should note any equipment they can bring, such as GPS, clipboard, headlamp, pen, binoculars, walkie-talkies, compass, cordless rechargeable spotlight, backpack or 4X4 vehicle.

These events will be conducted to assess the black-footed ferret population before winter. The objectives include trapping those animals that were not caught in the spring, to trap older ones that need a canine distemper or plague booster, and to trap juveniles (or “kits”) to administer vaccinations.

More information about the black-footed ferret recovery effort is available at www.azgfd.com/wildlife and click on “Nongame and Endangered Wildlife.”

Information provided by AZGFD

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