Wanted: Moose spotters for 5th and final year of Anchorage moose survey project

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 8:49 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is calling on the public to take part in the fifth and final year of the Anchorage moose survey project.

“The public’s help the past several years has made all the difference,” said wildlife research biologist David Saalfeld in a release. “With Anchorage residents reporting moose locations, we have been able to collect DNA samples from moose every year since 2017.”

Help Wildlife Biologists from ADF&G by reporting your moose sighting from February 19-21, 2021.

Posted by Alaska Department of Fish and Game - Official on Friday, February 19, 2021

According to Saalfeld, Fish and Game believes there are about 350 moose living in Anchorage based on data collected last year that was combined with previous years. The samples from the 2021 survey will help refine the latest estimate of the moose population.

On Friday, ADF&G Biologist Dave Battle was responding to moose reports in Anchorage neighborhoods and encouraging others to report any sightings.

“Moose could be anywhere,” he said. “They could be embedded in your backyard, please call us on that one. If you are out on your fat tire bike or your skis, and you see one, absolutely give us a call, because we have teams to respond.”

Battle said residents shouldn’t be alarmed to see biologists carrying dart guns. In addition to counting moose, they are collecting tiny tissue samples. The darts bounce off the hide and feel like a “mosquito bite,” according to Battle.

Battle said the information is critical to getting a good understanding of the age, sex and number of moose that live in the Anchorage Bowl. That number is roughly estimated at 350, but this year’s count will help make the figure more accurate.

People can report moose sightings in the Anchorage Bowl starting Friday at 8 a.m. through Sunday at 5 p.m. by calling 907-267-2530, texting 907-782-5051 or going online to Fish and Game’s website.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add more information from Battle.

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