Survey investigates Alaskans’ attitudes towards wildlife

Northern Pintail
(image from United States Fish and Wildlife Survey)

Colorado State University is conducting a survey of Alaska residents to measure their attitudes towards wildlife. It is part of a nationwide study that began in 2005.

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Mark Burch is a Wildlife Biologist for Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He said Alaska residents’ views differ from those in other states.

“In Alaska as you might expect people do tend to be a little more utilitarian,” Burch said. “In other words they utilize wildlife for food and clothing, and that way a little more than people in say some of the more urban areas that may perceive wildlife differently.”

The survey hopes to measure not only attitudes but trends over time. Burch said the survey will help the ADF&G better meet public needs.

“And in Alaska we’re looking at some of the barriers people face as they pursue hunting as well,” Burch said “That’s one of the specific interests that, that we’re delving into a little bit deeper.”

The survey is being conducted primarily by mail, though it is also available online. Researchers hope for a sample size of at least a thousand Alaska residents.