Montana Public Radio

wildlife

Wolf portrait closeup on the eyes, on a black background.
iStock

More than a half dozen wildlife bills have been signed into law, all with a similar vision for Montana: they suggest that there are too many predators on the landscape — and that numbers of animals like wolves and grizzly bears need to be reduced. Now, questions are proliferating over the future of predators in Montana. How that future looks lies at the intersection of law, values, and living with those species on the ground. 

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
iStock

A bear attacked and injured a hiker Friday morning in Yellowstone National Park. The incident comes just over two weeks after a park visitor sparked an investigation after approaching a grizzly and her cubs.

Pygmy whitefish.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

A rare native fish species has been discovered for the first time in two northwest Montana lakes. The discovery is part of state fish and wildlife biologists’ efforts to understand more about the pygmy whitefish.

Grey wolf
USFWS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ecologist Rolf Peterson remembers driving remote stretches of road in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and seeing areas strewn with deer carcasses. But that changed after gray wolves arrived in the region from Canada and Minnesota.

Bull elk
PD

A last-minute addition to a Montana fish and wildlife bill signed into law on Friday reinvigorated a long-running debate over the role of money in hunting in Montana.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials in central Montana have killed the first confirmed grizzly bear in modern times in the Big Snowy Mountains south of Lewistown, state wildlife officials said Friday.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park

Montana officials are butting heads over the future of the national mammal. At stake is whether bison should be treated as livestock or as wildlife. New legislation and policy changes under the Gianforte administration are derailing hopes of establishing the first free-roaming bison herds in the state.

A screen capture from a 2019 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks video shows a golden eagle picking at an animal carcass while two magpie stand nearby.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks / https://www.facebook.com/MontanaFWP/videos/1138944426303821/

A recent study from RaptorView Research Institute in Missoula found that most golden eagles that wintered in the Bitterroot Valley between 2011 and 2018 had elevated levels of lead in their blood. RaptorView Executive Director Rob Domenech says lead in the birds is related to hunters using lead bullets.

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD) / National Park Service

Montana’s Republican congressmen are asking the Interior Department to remove Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. 

Tribal nation leaders and conservation groups sent a letter to Montana’s governor Tuesday urging him to veto two bison management bills.

The leaders of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, the Fort Belknap Indian Community and Blackfeet Nation, along with the InterTribal Buffalo Council, Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation groups, say the two bison bills will threaten tribal efforts to restore bison through “the unlawful delegation of state powers and the restrictive definition of wild bison.”

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