Olympic National Park seeks marmot counters

Apr 12, 2011

If you're game for an Olympic National Park hike of five to 20 miles and eager to go count housecat-sized rodents, the park wants you for its "citizen science" marmot monitoring program.

For the second year, the park is looking for volunteers to visit designated survey areas to tally marmot numbers and distribution.

According to the Park's website,

"The Olympic marmot is quite possibly one of the most social and gregarious mammals on the peninsula. They are endemic to the Olympic Peninsula, meaning they are found no where else in the world."

Last year, more than 80 volunteers participated, coming from as far away as Los Angeles.

Park spokesman Dave Reynolds says applicants must be capable of hiking and camping in remote areas, navigating off-trail and working on steep slopes. Volunteers will get one day of training.

The application deadline is May 1 but applications may close earlier if the park gets enough eligible volunteers.