June 6, 2023

Maine Audubon Looking for Volunteers to “Monitor” Roads for Wildlife Traffic

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The Maine Audubon is seeking volunteers to give of their time to “monitor” highways in parts of the state in order to provide information as to where and how often wildlife crosses the road. More can be read about this program by following this link.

I’ll actually reserve comment about this programs and its usefulness and effectiveness, however I would like to point out that in the linked-to article above it reads:

Biologists with Maine Audubon and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife will use the information gathered by volunteers to work with town planners and the Maine Department of Transportation to reduce road risks to rare wildlife and improve conditions for drivers.

I find it troubling that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife(MDIFW) will work with a group of untrained volunteers conducting nonscientific “studies” or “monitoring” to be used to “work with town planners and MDOT” to protect wildlife and yet when experienced outdoor sportsmen repeatedly report to MDIFW about game conditions in the forests and fields, it is not always and regularly heeded in ways that could be beneficial to the wildlife.

From my own experiences over the past several years, what I have found is that sportsmen are right on top of what’s taking place in the field. Fish and Game “experts” are about 3 to 5 years behind reality and this lag in field knowledge can be a critical time. Part of the reason they are behind the actual events on the ground is due to their refusal to listen to or work with sportsmen when it comes to game management.

I wonder then, should, let’s say, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, or some other sports afield group seek volunteers to monitor how moose and deer or other game species are doing, whether or not MDIFW would have any interest? Perhaps it is because MDIFW fears the lobby power of groups like Audubon over sportsmen groups.