Agencies to conduct aerial survey of wild burros in North Valley

AZGF Photo

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will partner on an aerial survey of wild burros in and near the Lake Pleasant Herd Management Area beginning June 19.

Residents and recreationists in the North Valley area may see or hear a small, low-flying aircraft near Lake Pleasant and in areas east of I-17 between Anthem and Black Canyon City, south of Carefree Highway and the Loop 303 freeway; and west to areas near Morristown and Wickenburg.

“The main goal of these efforts is to ensure healthy ecosystems along with a safe environment for the public, employees, and public land users. Limiting the number of animal encounters with people and motor vehicles through better management of wild burro populations in our state can help achieve this goal,” said BLM Phoenix District Manager Leon Thomas.

The survey is part of ongoing research studies to collect information to guide future management of wild burros in Arizona. These studies are part of vital partnership efforts between the BLM and state agencies to address the issue of overpopulation of wild burros in the state.

The aerial survey may take up to six days, during which the agencies will work to record the number and location of burros observed along pre-designated flight paths. Related to this survey, the AGFD is also embarking on a three-year study to evaluate the effects of burros on Arizona’s wildlife and their habitat. Information gained will further help inform the BLM’s management of wild burros in herd management areas.