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Donations help Arizona Game and Fish bring water to wildlife in dry regions

(Arizona Game and Fish Department Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking donations to provide life-sustaining water for wildlife in the state’s driest regions.

The agency maintains 3,000 catchments — collections of drinkable water — that elk, deer, bighorn sheep and other species frequent to quench their thirst.

But with a relatively inactive monsoon season this year, the department has been giving Mother Nature a boost.

“Water catchments are used by all wildlife, and while badly needed monsoon rains recently returned, storms are often sporadic and large sections of the state do not receive adequate water to sustain local wildlife populations,” Joseph Currie, the department’s Habitat Planning program manager, said Wednesday in a press release.

Since January 2018, Game and Fish has replenished catchments with more than 1.5 million gallons of water via truck and airlift.

“By hauling to water catchments, we’re helping to prevent the localized wildlife die-offs that could happen if water simply wasn’t available,” said Currie, who oversees the department’s water catchment efforts.

The agency doesn’t receive grants from the state’s general fund, so it started a “Water for Wildlife” campaign last year.

Donations go toward covering the cost of bringing water to the wild, even in remote regions of the state. In addition to maintaining populations, the program helps discourage thirsty wildlife from venturing into urban areas, which could be dangerous, while seeking water.

To donate, text SENDWATER to 41444. The sender will receive a link to follow in order to complete the donation.

More information about the department’s conservation and protection efforts can be found on its website.

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