Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
February 2004

Birds, Bats, and Bugs: Alaska's Nongame Wildlife

By Riley Woodford

Alaska's Nongame Program will be torn between bats and birds this winter.

Alaska Fish and Game biologists are launching a new program they hope will unearth a wealth of knowledge about Alaska's nongame wildlife. Program components include research, monitoring, partnering, and the development of databases and other tools for biologists. The Alaska nongame biologists face some tough choices about what will be studied. 137 ideas have been proposed and just a fraction of those will be funded.

Among ...   Nongame Wildlife ArticleContinued

Invasive Species Can Be Beaten Back

By Jon Lyman and Riley Woodford

An invasion is underway worldwide, and Alaska is on the alert.

Exotic plants and animals transplanted to new areas devour or out-compete native species, destroy established commercial and recreational fisheries, ruin habitat for traditional uses and profoundly alter the existing ecosystems.

Invasive species can be introduced accidentally - awash in the ballast water of ships, or hitchhiking on travelers or packing materials. Sometimes deliberate introductions backfire with unwanted, ...   Invasive Species ArticleContinued

Mountain Lions in Alaska

By Riley Woodford

Mountain lions sighting are reported every year in Alaska, but the cats are so rare in the state that accounts often take on the mythical quality of Bigfoot sightings.

Reports have come from as far north and west as the Kenai Peninsula and the Palmer area, but the most credible accounts come from Southeast Alaska, which is adjacent to known populations in neighboring British Columbia.

"We get sporadic reports, maybe two or three a year," said state wildlife biologist ...   Mountain Lions in Al ArticleContinued

Fly-in Hunting
From the Air Taxi Pilot's View

By Don Bowers

Thousands of hunters take advantage of unguided fly-in hunts every year. Hiring an air taxi to fly out and drop you off can be the experience of a lifetime, or it can be a nightmare. The more you know, the better your hunt will be.

Your first call to us is usually, "Where can I get a moose (or sheep or caribou or bear or whatever)?" Our answer will always be, "It depends." Yes, we do try to keep an eye on likely areas where we can put our customers, but in many cases ...   Fly-in Hunting ArticleContinued

Winter's Winged Wildlife
Alaska's Chickadees

By Riley Woodford

A winter bird feeder in Alaska can be a magnet for winged wildlife, and chickadees are one of the most easily recognized and familiar visitors.

Noticeably smaller than the little gray juncos that often share the feeders, chickadees can be recognized by their distinctive triangular white cheek patches, bordered above by a dark cap and below by a back bib.

Chickadees are fairly common in Alaska, and all three species are curious and relatively tame. They look similar, but are found ...   Alaska's Chickadees ArticleContinued