Twice a year (Spring and Fall) the Refuge does a spotlight survey.
We go out for 5 nights, over a two week period. We start at dark using three trucks and at least nine volunteers. One driver, and two spotters in each truck. The driver also keeps track of the count unless there is an extra volunteer.
Our group of volunteers
Mark also has to get the trucks ready to go out. This includes making sure there is enough gas in the tanks, the back of the trucks are cleared out, and the spotlights are working.
The route that Mark and I are assigned to is the longest. We’re usually out about 2 1/2 hours. So far we have seen a lot of White-tailed deer and coyotes. We also have seen Nilgai, Bobcat and feral hogs. We haven't seen any Ocelot or javelina but they are also on the list.
Mark checking the paperwork used for keeping the count.
We don’t count paraque but we usually see 40-50 of them and a lot of rabbits.
Even though bats, owls and other night flying creatures aren’t on our list, that doesn’t mean we can’t check out the sky every once in a while too!