Montana Public Radio

mountain lions

When the M-44 trap is set, only the capsule holder and capsule protrude above ground level.
Guy Connely - U.S. Department of Agriculture

A lawsuit filed this week in Missoula says the federal government is illegally killing Montana’s native wildlife. The plaintiffs want a court to put a stop to it pending a full environmental review.

A mountain lion in Glacier National Park.
National Park Service (PD)

Two young mountain lions were killed near a Columbia Falls park over the weekend. One was shot and killed by a local homeowner Saturday and the other was killed by police.

A mountain lion in Glacier National Park.
National Park Service (PD)

As the rising sun chases away the glittering stars, a slinking figure moves within the shadows of the trees with grace born only of felines. A small herd of mule deer feed in an adjacent clearing, oblivious to the impending danger. Then, with a flurry of action, the cat rushes from its hiding place amidst the shadows, toward a yearling buck feeding near the tree line. The buck turns to flee when he realizes the danger, but with a great leap the cat is upon him. Within a split second the buck lies limply on the ground, its neck broken.

Black bear stock photo.

The most grizzly bears since 2011 were captured last year in northwest Montana, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) annual reports released Tuesday.

The reports focus on management actions in 2018 for grizzlies, black bears and mountain lions in FWP’s Region 1 – the northwest corner of the state.

Glenn Schenavar leads a meeting of sportsmen concerned wolves are depleting elk and deer in Kalispell January 30, 2019.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

A meeting about Montana’s wolf population turned testy Wednesday night in Kalispell.

At one point, a man stood up amidst the sea of green camo, flannel and down and called out that he’s not advocating that everybody go out and buy poison. But, “If we have to kiss heiny to the Senate or whoever it is and get it done legislatively, maybe that’s what we ought to do.”


"I, for one, choose a world in which I am not always at the top of the food chain. It's good, sometimes, to near a summit only to be turned back by a world that is bigger than your ambition." -- Jim Williams

Mountain Lions Seen Near Rural Montana School Bus Stop

Jan 9, 2019
A mountain lion, also known as a cougar, puma, or catamount. (File Photo)

FLORENCE, Mont. (AP) — Mountain lions have been sighted near a school bus stop used by a rural Montana school district.

The Ravalli Republic reports that Florence-Carlton School District said officials received a report of three mountain lions near the area where the bus turns around west of Florence on Tuesday morning.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing to monitor mountain lions by ecoregion to match the cats' movements across the landscape.
Montana FWP

Despite past efforts to wipe mountain lions out of Montana entirely, the big cats have made a striking recovery. Managers estimate there are now 4,000 to 5,000 lions prowling the entirety of their historic range, and their numbers are growing.

To shore up those numbers, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is proposing a new conservation and monitoring strategy that harnesses cutting-edge science to estimate population size and anticipate how hunting and other management actions could impact future generations.

Closeup of a cougar kitten looking at camera.
Smithsonian Networks

Most people don’t describe crawling into mountain lion dens in the middle of winter or exploring abandoned buildings littered with animal corpses by moonlight as a dream come true. But for one Montana filmmaker, those hair-raising moments were the opportunity of a lifetime.

Paradise Valley filmmaker Casey Anderson’s newest film “The Mountain Lion and Me” is debuting on the Smithsonian Channel Wednesday night. Anderson is best-known as a host and explorer on Nat Geo Wild. He joins us now to tell us about making his film.

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar, puma, or catamount. (File Photo)

Since 2007 Montana taxpayers have compensated ranchers when wolves and grizzly bears kill their livestock — to the tune of up to $200,000 a year. Some of that money is also spent on projects designed to prevent predator conflicts. That earns it high marks from both ranchers and conservation organizations.

Last year, state lawmakers voted to add mountain lion-related losses to the compensation list for the first time. The problem is, the program didn’t get any additional funding to do that.