Juneau – Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) biologists, working in cooperation with military personnel, have removed nine wolves on the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER). The wolves were considered a significant threat to public safety on the military installation and in surrounding residential areas.
“The effort was successful. We feel confident we have minimized public safety risks by removing specific wolves and significantly reducing wolf numbers in the area,” said Mark Burch, Regional Supervisor, Division of Wildlife Conservation.
Over the winter, the nine wolves were taken by joint ADF&G/JBER trapping and ground shooting efforts. These actions are believed to have mitigated risks to public safety. However, ADF&G biologists and military personnel will continue to monitor the situation and take wolves if necessary.
The wolf removal effort was in response to habituated wolves in the area that were becoming increasingly aggressive towards humans and pets. Tissue, bone, and hair samples from the wolves will be analyzed to develop profiles of dietary habits. This information could prove useful for future comparative studies. In addition, samples will be used as part of a broader genetic study of Alaska wolves.
To prevent future problems, area residents must take precautions not to leave out garbage, pet food, or other attractants that might draw wolves near homes and into neighborhoods. In addition, homeowners should take precautions to secure pets and livestock. Negligent and intentional feeding of wolves is prohibited by state regulation (5AAC 92.230).
ADF&G biologists and JBER officials would like people to continue to report wolf sightings or encounters on or near the military base. Please immediately report sightings to the base dispatcher at 522-3421, or call the Division of Wildlife Conservation Information Center at 267-2257 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.