At least a half dozen dogs and one person were accidentally caught in traps or snares in Alaska last winter, and at least one of those accidents killed a dog. That’s according to a report from the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for more trapping restrictions.
The group says its report, called “Map the Trap,” was the first of its kind and sought to fill a void of information in the state about how the public interacts with traps.
“There’s no centralized database for trap encounters, be it through ADF&G or state troopers or wildlife troopers,” said Alaska Wildlife Alliance director Nicole Schmitt, “Each agency if they do track it is tracking it within their own bubble of authority. And so the goal with this project was to really understand the scope of trap encounter issues, especially on multi-use areas.”
The report relied on dozens of submissions from the public about trap encounters during the 2020-21 trapping season, which generally corresponds to the winter months. Several described close encounters with traps or snares near trails and roadways, and one man said he was pulled off his motorbike after a snare caught his foot on a trail in the Mat-Su.
Schmitt said the group hopes to continue the project next year and is asking the public to submit their reports on its website.