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The Results Are In for Anchorage Residents Views On Wildlife

Anchorage - A survey sponsored by the Department of Fish and Game and cooperating agencies of the Anchorage Bear Committee contracted to Responsive Management Inc. was recently completed and is available for review. The survey was conducted in an attempt to better understand how Anchorage residents view interaction with wildlife in an urban environment.  In Alaska, “urban” wildlife includes brown bears, black bears, moose, wolves, lynx, and wolverines.


The survey report, “Anchorage Residents’ Opinions on Bear and Moose Population Levels and Management Strategies,” asked approximately 70 questions that dissected respondents’ experiences, attitudes, and opinions regarding potentially dangerous wildlife in the Anchorage area.  The firm called randomly selected Anchorage adults in December and January.  The final sample size was 1,258.  Sampling error on the entire sample was plus or minus 2.75%

Anchorage, a municipality of about 290,000 people, is surrounded by natural areas. An estimated 250-300 black bears, over 60 brown bears, 4 wolf packs, and 1,700 moose inhabit areas in or near the city.  Respondents were classified by where they lived, based on the likelihood of encountering bears in their neighborhood:  downtown, midtown, and west Anchorage were in one zone; east Anchorage, the Hillside, and the military bases were in an intermediate zone; and outlying communities such as Eagle River, Chugiak, Bird, and Girdwood were in the third zone.  Responses of trail and park users were also compared to non-users


Researchers reported a high rate of participation in the survey.  “People were eager to give us their opinions about wildlife,” says Mark Damian Duda, Executive Director of Responsive Management, Inc., a nationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues. 

The final report is posted on the ADF&G website: (www.wildlife.alaska.gov/aawildlife/bears/abc/moose_bear_report_2009.pdf).

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