Trap and snare safety for pet owners becomes important where animals are allowed to run off-leash without supervision. Pets wandering loose on public lands run the risk of encountering a leg hold trap or snare during the winter fur-trapping season. Quick action is vital to preventing injury or making the situation worse.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has published a guide titled Trap Safety for Pet Owners that can help with an inadvertent encounter with a trap or snare. The Department notes trappers should always avoid setting their equipment near homes or close to popular trail sites. It is also noted that pets should be kept under control and owners need to realize traps may be set in the outdoor areas where they recreate. Traps don’t pose the only outdoor danger for free roaming pets. Many dogs cannot resist confrontation with numerous porcupines found in the woods. Read More
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued a press release concerning McNeil River bear viewing permits. McNeil River offers visitors a unique opportunity to see Brown bears up close.
The application deadline for lottery permits to visit Alaska’s premier brown bear viewing site at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary is fast approaching. Online applications must be submitted by midnight on March 1, or mailed and received by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game by March 1.
Online applications and printable application forms are available at www.mcneilriver.adfg.alaska.gov through the “Permits” tab and “Viewing Permits” link. More information about visiting McNeil River is available on the website or by calling (907) 267-2257.
A nonrefundable application fee of $25 per person is required and up to three people may apply together as a group. Applications are entered into a lottery and if drawn, Alaska residents must pay a $150 permit fee and nonresidents $350.
Located 100 air miles west of Homer, the McNeil River hosts the world’s largest known gathering of brown bears; hundreds of people apply each year for permits to watch bears drawn to the river to feed on migrating salmon.
In the spirit of the season, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has published a detailed species profile for Santa’s flying reindeer. Heard, but seldom seen, this rare animal is popular with children across the world.
In a press release, ADF&G says, “Santa’s reindeer (Rangifer tarandus saintnicolas magicalus) look very similar to common reindeer or caribou, but have many characteristics—including the ability to fly—that distinguish them from the seven other common subspecies. In Europe, caribou are called reindeer, but in Alaska and Canada only the semi-domesticated form is called reindeer. All caribou and reindeer throughout the world are considered to be the same species, and, including Santa’s reindeer, there are eight subspecies. Alaska has mostly the barren-ground subspecies and one small herd of woodland caribou.”
The species profile for Santa’s reindeer is available on the ADF&G website at www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=santasreindeer.main This profile includes a complete species description, audio recordings, drawing of reindeer sign, research information, helpful hints for serving reindeer snacks and making observations, and additional resources about caribou in Alaska.
Enjoy the holiday season!
Snowy weather and increasing darkness mean it’s time to avoid wintertime moose collisions. The build up of snow in the high country forces moose into the lowlands, seeking food. Plowed highways expose to trees and shrubs browsed by moose and cleared highways make it easier for moose to travel. Increasing darkness make these unpredictable animals even harder to see alongside the road.
The impact of an animal that can reach 900 pounds and a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic, both for the moose and passengers alike. Moose are erratic in their movements, often doubling back over the highway they just crossed. They can enter a road unseen from the shoulder or areas of restricted visibility.
In a press release, Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Jeff Selinger says, “The majority of our road kills occur during the winter months. Decreased visibility due to lack of daylight, icy roads, and moose movement patterns all contribute to the increased collision rates we see at this time of year.” Read More