AZ Game and Fish Department Tortoise Surveys
Hi Turtles Project volunteers and colleagues,
The Arizona Game and Fish Turtles Project will be collaborating on a desert tortoise survey at Aravaipa Canyon, a wilderness area about 120 miles southeast of Phoenix. The survey will be during a weekend camping trip to Aravaipa Canyon on Friday, October 8 - Sunday, October 10, and we will need a team of volunteers to help us accomplish the survey. The area was last surveyed for tortoises in the early 1990’s. The area is famed for its pristine creek, which is free of nonnative fish, as well as for its excellent birding opportunities.
To sign up for the Aravaipa Canyon tortoise survey, please send me an e-mail with your name and phone number, and the name, e-mail address, and phone number of anyone else you are signing up; we have a limited number of volunteer spaces for this trip, so I will sign you up in the order I receive your e-mail. Although you don’t need to have experience surveying for desert tortoises to participate, you do need to be in good condition and have experience hiking in rugged terrain. As a wilderness area, there are no designated trails, campsites, or facilities. Because of the rugged nature of this survey, we are limiting this opportunity to volunteers who are 18 and up.
We will arrive at the canyon on Friday afternoon and set up our campsites. We’ll survey Saturday, probably throughout the entire day given good temperatures, and again on Sunday morning before breaking down camp and returning to Phoenix on Sunday. In October you can expect that daytime temperatures will be in the low 80s, with nighttime temperatures in the upper 40s-low 50s. Plan on bringing your own food, although we may do a potluck depending on interest.
This is a rare opportunity to experience one of Arizona’s protected, secluded, and rugged wilderness areas, while helping determine the status of a tortoise population that hasn’t been studied in almost 20 years. We are looking forward to it!
Wildlife Specialist, Turtles Project
Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85086
(623) 236-7504 phone
(623) 236-7926 fax