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Wildlife Roundup: Wolf sightings reported

Posted: July 25, 2013 - 11:03pm

For the week of July 23:

Welcome to the 2013 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. Calls concerning black bear activity increased over the last two weeks which is consistent with calls over the last few years. Bears are likely in another transition phase between spring vegetation and berries and salmon. Salmon are in local creeks and berries appear to be plentiful in many locations, which should provide good forage for bears in the next several weeks. The majority of calls came from:

• Valley neighborhoods adjacent to Thunder Mountain.

• Montana Creek neighborhoods.

• Auke Bay between Deharts and the ferry terminal.

• Lena Loop.

• Tee Harbor Area.

The department has translocated — captured and released in a new location — a total of one bear so far this year. The number of black bears humanely killed in 2013 remains at zero.

ADF&G continues to receive calls concerning juvenile bears. Based on the decreasing number of calls concerning young bears, it appears some of the younger bears, on their own for the first time, are starting to figure out how to live near urban areas. Young bears can be all or partly curious, pushy and mischievous. This does not excuse negative bear behavior but it does provide a reference for why some of these youngsters are doing the things they are. ADF&G has received numerous reports of bears entering vehicles, and a few calls about bears displaying aggressive behavior when trying to access food and trash. ADF&G staff is working with these residents to ensure attractants are removed and bears are deterred from returning. It is an excellent time to double check that all attractants are removed from homes and businesses and garbage cans and dumpsters are functioning properly. Keep in mind that the new garbage cans, fielded last summer, are not bear resistant and must be stored in a garage, shed, or some other stout enclosure, and only removed on the day of pick up. Chicken coops should be protected by an electric fence.

A few wolves have been observed in the Juneau area recently. A large male was killed by a vehicle on Glacier Highway and a juvenile was seen on Back Loop Road. Wolves are generally around Juneau but they are not seen often, preferring to move through the area in creek or river drainages and on ridgelines.

Black bears and Sitka black-tailed deer are routinely seen feeding along local roads. 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 a Wildlife Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
For additional information, please contact the Douglas Area wildlife Office at 465-4265.

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