July 8, 2020

Biologists ask Alaska residents to count moose

In this article, there’s a lot of “mights,” “coulds,” “perhaps,” and “possiblys” to make one wonder if any of this is worth it or if they even know what they are doing. Anchorage, Alaska is noted for sharing space with moose, particularly in the winter but also during the calving season when moose escape the dangers of the four-footed predators to take their chances with the two-footed ones.

One statement in the article says that in an effort to “count” moose in Anchorage, they have asked the residents, to call, text, or email each time they saw a member of the four-legged species so that state biologists could get an official moose count.Official? I doubt it.

According to the article, 94% of Alaska residents “enjoyed watching moose.” Like most polls it appears this one might be a bit misleading, or used as such for this article. Was the poll inquiring whether they liked watching them in their Anchorage yards on a regular basis? Perhaps, but I don’t think so…at least not in the same numbers.

If officials are hoping to get an “official” count of moose in downtown Anchorage, then what? Are they trying to devise a way to mitigate the problem, or is this even viewed as a problem? I’ll leave it up to my readers to imagine the problems that can erupt if it becomes an encouragement to keep moose as a fixture in the downtown. Hmmm.

This Anchorage, Alaska moose spent many a day in this door yard. She loved to lay under the drier vent to catch the warmth.

 

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Alaska Using Wolf Hair DNA to Count Wolves

“Researchers sleuth out areas on Prince of Wales frequented by wolf packs and their prey. There, the biologists hide planks of wood stapled with lengths of barbed wire and scented with a cocktail of odors, such as coyote urine, that are irresistible to wolves.

Then they wait. Motion-sensing trail cameras capture what happens next.

“Wolves are dogs and anybody knows, that has a dog, they like to roll in stinky things,” Logan said.

When the animals sniff out the wooden planks and rub against the wire, they leave strands of fur behind that Alaska researchers collect and ship 1,000 miles away for study at a Montana university for genetics testing. The DNA results can show how many different wolves came into contact with the lures — a less invasive, less dangerous method than trying to collar or count the animals from the air.”<<<Read More>>>

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Is This Just Adding Lipstick to Wolf Counting Procedures?

“The study’s primary objective was to find a less expensive approach to wolf monitoring that would yield statistically reliable estimates of the number of wolves and packs in Montana,” said Justin Gude, FWP’s chief of research for the wildlife division in Helena.

The typical method used to document the state’s wolf population focuses on ground and aerial track counts, visual observations, den and rendezvous confirmation and radio collaring to count individual wolves as required by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The verified count is used to fulfill Montana’s obligation to submit an annual wolf population report to federal authorities to ensure wolves are being properly managed above standards that could trigger relisting as an endangered species. Those counts must continue through Dec. 31, 2016.

“This new approach is not only good science,” Gude said, “it’s a practical way for Montana to obtain a more accurate range of wolf numbers that likely inhabit the state.”<<<Read More>>>Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks study on new methods of counting wolves.

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