Lower animal populations in annual wildlife count

By Christine Rumleskie

 

The Charlie Lake Conservation Society is noticing a dip in wildlife populations in the North Peace.

On January 17th, a trio of society members searched a 5×5 km square grid, between Tea Creek and Wilder Creek southwest of Charlie Lake.

Between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. that day, 14 elk were spotted feeding on the hills.

44 Mule Deer were counted, but only two White Tail deer were seen. And only two moose were spotted in the same area.

Volunteer Stan Gladysz says the decrease in wildlife could be attributed to both rising wolf populations and warmer temperatures this season.

He explains that when Chinooks pass through the area, they can create a crust on the snow, which can cause animals to damage their legs.

Gladysz says a 50% reduction in moose numbers from last year could be the result of ticks, as well as a longer winter in 2008-09.

He added that counting wildlife isn’t as difficult as it sounds, because the animals can be easily spotted as most of the area is open country.

The results of the third-annual count were forwarded to the Ministry of Environment, where they will be used to determine the upcoming hunting allowance.

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