Wildlife officials document endangered ferret

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SELIGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona wildlife officials say they have completed their October estimate of the ferret population.

The Game and Fish Department, with the help of volunteers, say they have finished the annual spotlighting season of the black-footed creatures at a reintroduction site in Seligman.

Researchers use high-powered spotlights that reflect off the green glow from a ferret's eyes to document their minimum population in the area.

The agency says it captured 34 ferrets.

Officials say data from a spring count adds up to 50, a drop from 98 that were captured last year.

Project supervisor Jennifer Cordova says the drop could be attributed to this summer's strong monsoon rains or a dry winter and spring.

The nocturnal predators remain among the most endangered mammals.

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