Welcome to the Juneau area Wildlife Roundup. The intent of this column is to provide Juneau residents updates on wildlife activity in the Juneau area and general interest wildlife information.
• Local black bears: Black bear activity in Juneau continues to be steady across town. Over the last two weeks, we have received reports of bears in Douglas, the highlands downtown, Basin Road, several locations in the Mendenhall Valley and along Glacier Highway north of Tee Harbor. Many of the calls ADF&G is receiving are simply reports of bears in the area, but some involve bears getting into garbage. One bear was reported entering an open garage where it was able to get food and subsequently returned the location multiple times. Residents are reminded to remove all attractants from their home and to secure household garbage in a bear-resistant container until the day of pick up. If bears are known to be in the area, or have historically been seen, please be aware of open garages and doors as bears may be curious and investigate for food sources.
• Wildlife hazards: Both black bears and deer are regularly seen along Juneau’s road system this time of year, and are attracted to the vegetation in these areas. Motorists should keep an eye out, especially early in the morning and at night, for animals feeding near the road as they may cross the road creating a hazard to motorists. ADF&G continues to receive calls concerning traffic congestion caused by motorists stopping on the side of the road to view wildlife, especially black bears. Biologists report seeing a vehicle parked directly in front of, within a few feet, a bear feeding along Glacier Highway. Please do not stop along side of feeding bears and wildlife and do not loiter in the area. This can create an unsafe traffic situation, and may alarm the animal which may move or run into traffic. It is appropriate to view wildlife along the roads only when there is an area where vehicles can be parked off the road, and viewing can be accomplished from a distance that will not harass the animals.
• Ryan Scott is an area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. For additional information, please contact the Douglas Area wildlife Office at 465-4359.