Our partners at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have been working on breeding and releasing endangered Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits to restore wild populations to Washington, and need our help to determine how successful the project has been so far.
Volunteers are needed for July 8th and 9th (those interested can sign up for one or both days) to assist with research and monitoring of survival rates of rabbits released into in the wild. Volunteers will conduct hiking surveys within the Beezley Hills to locate any rabbits that survived release last year to help WADFW determine where to release rabbits in the future. The project will start with a short training on the survey methodology and how to ID pygmy burrows, then the team will break up into groups and WADFW staff will lead the groups on surveys, each group covering a different area. Anything that is discovered would be a big deal, essentially confirming a second wild population of the most critically endangered mammal in WA! Materials to ID pygmy rabbit signs, maps, hand held GPS units and short data forms will be provided.
Surveyors will need to be able to handle hiking several miles in hilly-brushy terrain, hot temperatures, and preferably be able to use a hand held GPS unit. Start and stop time will be announced one week in advance, depending on the weather forecast (to avoid the hottest time of day.)