Alaska Officials Use DNA to Help Count City Moose
Wildlife biologists in the U.S. state of Alaska are collecting genetic material from moose in an attempt to get a correct count of the big animals.
The counting is being done in Alaska's largest city, Anchorage. Many moose are found within the limits of the city of 300,000 people. But officials are not sure how many moose pass through the area.
The counting process is not easy. The animals continually move and the city covers an area of over 5,000 square kilometers.
In the past, officials used low-flying airplanes to watch for moose on the ground to estimate numbers. But rules from the city's airport now bar such flights.
So Alaska's Department of Fish and Game is experimenting with a new method for counting the city's moose. They are collecting genetic material called DNA from the animals. They say this will permit them to get better estimates and identify each individual moose without having to capture them.
Biologists sought help from the public during their three-day project last month. They asked people to call or send text messages to report when they saw a moose. Teams of moose trackers then quickly drove to the areas.
The teams shot the moose with special darts designed to capture small pieces of skin and hair. The darts are weighted so they fall off the moose and can be collected. Researchers say the darts do not hurt the animals. The skin and fur are then taken to a laboratory to be studied.
Biologist Dave Battle helped lead the project. He told the Associated Press that until now, officials had to take an "educated guess" about the number of moose in the city.
"There's really been no technique up until now. And it's something we've been kind of beating our heads against the wall for the last couple of years about," he said.
The project is paid for with taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment, as well as state hunting licenses.
Battle says the technology is allowing officials to improve their knowledge and management of the moose population in the Anchorage area. But he added that it will take some time to study the DNA material to come up with specific numbers.
Safety was a big concern during the project. Moose, which weigh up to 700 kilograms, can be aggressive and dangerous to people.
Moose can cause deadly traffic accidents and also can harm people and other animals by stepping on them.
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1.In the past 过去
My children have wounded me in the past.
2.genetic material 遗传物质
He developed embryonic stem cells that could produce mice that carried new genetic material.
3.as well as 和...一样；也
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4.until now 截至目前
They have threatened military action but held off until now.
5.But he added that it will take some time to study the DNA material to come up with specific numbers.
come up with 提出；想出
The president was moved to come up with these suggestions after the hearings.
I don't think he can come up with any clever move.
6.Moose, which weigh up to 700 kilograms, can be aggressive and dangerous to people.
weigh up to 重达...
A pineapple can weigh up to 10 kilograms.
As the ice thickens during the winter, the blocks can weigh up to twice that.
这项工作正在阿拉斯加州第一大城市安克雷奇市开展 。这座拥有30万人口的城市里曾出现过很多驼鹿，但是有关官员并不确定多少驼鹿经过该地区 。
统计过程并不容易 。驼鹿们不断迁移，并且这座城市的面积超过5000平方公里 。
因此，阿拉斯加州渔猎局正在尝试一种新方法来统计该市的驼鹿数量 。他们正在收集驼鹿的DNA遗传物质 。他们表示，通过这一方法能更好地估算数量，并在无需捕获的前提下识别每只驼鹿 。
在上个月为期三天的项目中，生物学家们向民众寻求帮助 。他们呼吁公众看到驼鹿后要立即打电话或发短信通知 。驼鹿追踪队会迅速赶到这些地区 。
追踪队会利用特制飞镖射击驼鹿，获取少量的皮肤或毛发 。这些飞镖被施加了重量，因此从驼鹿身上掉落后可被收集起来 。研究人员表示，这些飞镖不会伤害到驼鹿 。所搜集的皮肤和毛发会带回实验室进行研究 。
生物学家戴夫·巴特尔(Dave Battle)协助领导了这一项目 。他对美联社表示，到目前为止，有关官员必须对城市里的驼鹿数量进行一次“有依据的推测 。”
巴特尔表示，这项技术允许有关人员改善他们对安克雷奇地区驼鹿种群的认识和管理 。但是他补充说，通过研究DNA材料统计出具体数字还需要一段时间 。
安全因素是该项目的一大忧患 。一头重达700公斤的驼鹿对人类具有侵略性和危险性 。