Grasslands National Park

Volunteer Black-Footed Ferret Monitoring Program

"Fall Population Monitoring & Kit Trapping"

Ferret Trackers

Ferret trackers assist in monitoring Black-footed Ferrets with special permitted night-time spotlight surveys. A great way to learn new skills, make a difference and have fun!

Location: Grasslands National Park (GNP) - Val Marie, Saskatchewan
Program Title: Volunteer Black-Footed Ferret Monitoring Program (A Citizen Scientist Program)
Volunteer Project Coordinator: Laura James

Volunteer or Group Name: Ferret Trackers

Volunteers learn how to use monitoring equipment at their orientation session Volunteers learn how to use monitoring equipment at their orientation session
© Neil Deringer

Project Dates

  • Project #1: 5 nights Tuesday pm to Sunday am From: September 2-7, 2014
  • Project #1a:  2 nights Tuesday pm to Thursday am From: September 2-4, 2014
  • Project #1b: 3 nights Thursday pm to Sunday am From: September 4-7, 2014
  • Project#2: 5 nights Tuesday pm to Sunday am From: September 9-14, 2014
  • Project#2a: 2 nights Tuesday pm to Thursday am From: September 9-11, 2014
  • Project#2b: 3 nights Thursday pm to Sunday am From: September 11-14, 2014

Orientation / Training Afternoons: September 2, September 4, September 9 and September 11, 2014. Arrive rested, you will begin surveys that evening!

Tasks: Volunteers will commit to:

  • Participate in 1 afternoon of scheduled group orientation and training prior to your first night of fieldwork.
  • Participate in 2 ,3 or 5 nights** of night-time spotlight surveying for black-footed ferrets.
  • Accurately record and complete required data entry sheets and program evaluation documents necessary for a successful volunteer monitoring session.
  • Citizen Scientist code of conduct, roles, responsibilities, and logistics
  • Follow Ferret survey protocols, safe work practices and responsible care/use of equipment
  • Provide communication feedback, suggestions and problems in a respectful and timely manner

**Depending on which project you applied for

All monitoring equipment is provided! A packing list for general equipment and personal items is provided All monitoring equipment is provided! A packing list for general equipment and personal items is provided
© Parks Canada

Skill Level: Requirements for volunteers:

  • Ability to hike at night, in variable weather conditions.
  • Must be physically fit.
  • Able to hike 15-23 km/night (depending on location of colony) over an 8 hr. period.
  • Able to carry 25-40 lbs in their backpack, while hiking on flat and/or uneven terrain.
  • Fluent English communication skills (oral, reading, writing).
  • Comfortable with night-time work (sunset to sunrise) and working alone, as part of a remote team.
  • Data recording and observation skills and basic map-reading ability.
  • GPS skills or willingness to learn how to use a GPS.
  • Interpersonal skills -responsible, reliable, motivated, patient, enthusiastic and able to communicate personal needs.

Resources Available for Volunteers:

  • Spotlight & 12 volt battery, radio, scanner, head lamp, reflectors, map & data sheets, GPS unit, (for loan if needed: compasses, a few external or internal frame backpacks)
  • Packing list for volunteer's general equipment/personal needs
  • Transportation to and from the necessary monitoring sites from Grasslands National Park

DONATIONS TO SUPPORT YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS BLACK-FOOTED FERRET RECOVERY PROGRAM ARE APPRECIATED.

For more information, please contact:

Laura James
Volunteer Black-footed Ferret Monitoring Program Coordinator
Grasslands National Park of Canada 
PO Box 150, 101 Centre St.
Val Marie, SK S0N 2T0
Telephone  306-298-2166 ext 222
Facsimile 306-298-4505
Email : grasslands.info@pc.gc.ca or laura.james@pc.gc.ca
Fax : 306-298-2045