Public asked to help count Anchorage moose
Biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game need your help to count moose around the Anchorage Bowl.
They haven’t been able to do their annual aerial surveys for the past few years because of bad weather and low snow. For the first time, the department is asking for the public’s help to track moose from the ground.
The last aerial survey was in 2011 when biologists counted 1,540 moose.
“Those numbers are getting a little bit old and we’re not sure how many moose are in the bowl right now,” said Fish and Game spokesperson Ken Marsh. “Are they in an upward trend, a downward trend? Are they staying stable? This is what we need to find out.”
On Sunday, Feb. 26, and Monday, Feb. 27, people are encouraged to keep track of any moose they see. Record the location, time and number of moose spotted and send that information to Fish and Game.
Fish and Game biologists will also be out on those days darting moose to collect DNA. The darts are designed to hit the moose, collect a skin sample and fall to the ground, where biologists will collect them.
“The managers are going to use that methodology to determine if we have too many moose in the Anchorage area and some need to be culled, or it could be used to determine why we’re having more moose-vehicle collisions than normal,” Marsh explained. “It’s good for us to have our finger on the number of moose for management purposes.”
Sightings can be reported by calling 907-267-2253, texting 907-782-5051 or visiting the department’s website.