Ferret4The Arizona Game and Fish Department is in need of additional volunteers for the second fall spotlighting effort in October. As part of the black-footed ferret recovery effort, Game and Fish, along with dedicated volunteers, take to the field in search of this elusive, endangered, nocturnal carnivore. Because this animal is almost strictly nocturnal, the means for documenting them, called spotlighting, must be done during evening hours. The final effort of 2014 will take place Oct. 9-12 in Aubrey Valley just went of Seligman in northern Arizona. Those wishing to assist can volunteer for just one evening or multiple nights.  “Volunteers play a vital role,” said Jeff Pebworth, wildlife program manager at the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman. “We don’t have the personnel to fully staff these events.”   A mere 18 black-footed ferrets were left in the world – seven males and 11 females – when captive breeding efforts began in 1985. In 1996, Arizona’s Aubrey Valley was selected as a reintroduction site.    In the last decade, black-footed ferrets in Aubrey Valley have reached a population high enough to be considered self-sustaining, meaning no captive-bred ferrets are needed to maintain a population.  Volunteers can witness the processing of the animals, which allow researchers to understand the minimum population, longevity, and movement throughout the range.  Those wishing to volunteer, or needing more information, should e-mail azferret@azgfd.gov by Oct. 7. Please write “Fall Spotlighting” in the subject line. Individuals should indicate which night(s) they are available to help; include a first and last name, a contact number, and if anyone else will be attending with them.  Additional information will be sent following contact, including meeting location and times

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