Montana Public Radio

wildlife

Fort Belknap Restoring Swift Foxes To Native Range

Sep 25, 2020

A project on the Fort Belknap Indian Community is restoring one of North America’s smallest, fastest predators to its native habitat.

Go to the prairie near Fort Belknap in north central Montana and you just might hear a sound that hasn’t been heard in this area for over fifty years: The growls of a swift fox.

The size of a housecat, Kristy Bly, a program manager for World Wildlife Fund, jokes that the swift fox weighs five pounds when soaking wet. But she says that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously.

A bill heard in a U.S. Senate committee on Sept. 16 proposes nearly 90 thousand acres of new wilderness and recreation areas in northwest Montana.

The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act stems from nearly a decade of collaboration between people representing wilderness, recreation and timber interests near Seeley Lake.

Flathead Lake Biological Station research boat, Jessie-B.
Courtesy Flathead Lake Biological Station

The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station will study how tribal efforts to suppress non-native lake trout populations are possibly shifting the buildup of toxins in other fish species. The project is part of an inaugural wave of federal funding announced Wednesday for projects along the Columbia River Basin.

A citizen committee appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock finalized a report on how the state should manage grizzly bears last week. They envisioned a future with fully recovered populations of grizzlies in Montana, but could not agree on what that future looks like, in particular when it comes to hunting.

Montana Bill Would Make Hunting And Fishing A Constitutional Right
Flickr User Jeff Noble (CC-BY-2)

Montana is changing how it handles the animals harvested in CWD management zones this hunting season, and hunters will now be able to move deer, elk and moose carcasses across management zone borders.

Meant to simplify the rules aimed at preventing CWD’s spread, the change shifts the responsibility of properly disposing of animal remains onto hunters.

US Wildlife Agency Seeks To Carve Out Areas From Protections

Sep 4, 2020
Lesser prairie chicken.
CC-BY-2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/larry1732/

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Trump administration proposal released Friday would allow the government to deny habitat protections for endangered animals and plants in areas that would see greater economic benefits from being developed — a change critics said could open lands to more energy development and other activities.

How devastating are wildfires to deer and elk? Can most of them outrun or outflank a rapidly spreading fire? And what about the survivors when they return to a burned forest? Isn’t their habitat destroyed?

Bighorn sheep
(PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials plan to restore bighorn sheep to a southwestern Montana mountain range where the animals had been killed off due to disease.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials plan to transplant the sheep from Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake to the Tendoy Mountains near Lima, the Independent Record reported.

Sixteen Native American tribes across the U.S. will soon receive graduates of the bison quarantine program at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The InterTribal Buffalo Council Aug. 12 began transferring 40 bull bison to tribes in nine states to boost the long-term genetic health of cultural herds.

Yellowstone National Park said July 15 officials recently euthanized a black bear after it bit a backpacker and On July 6, a black bear walked up to a backcountry campsite near the Hellroaring Trailhead where a group of five were sitting outside their tents.

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