Montana Public Radio

wildlife

Wolverine
Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences. (USFS)

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to withhold Endangered Species Act protection from wolverines in the lower 48 states. That’s where no more than 300 of the animals are thought to remain. 

Fish cooking over a campfire.
iStock

Wildlife managers across the region noted a drastic increase in the number of people recreating in bear country this year, but that spike didn’t lead to a bump in conflicts between humans and grizzlies. 

That's the takeaway from a year-end review of grizzly management in the Lower 48 states this week.

Officials set a target Wednesday to reduce bison herds living in and around Yellowstone National Park by 500 to 700 animals this winter. The yearly cull is meant to keep the population in check and prevent bison from possibly transmitting a disease to domestic cattle.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
(PD)

After two record-breaking years of grizzly bear deaths in Northwest Montana, bear mortalities have dropped back down.

Cow elk.
PD

A citizens group met for the first time Thursday to begin the process of revising the 15-year-old statewide elk management plan in Montana.

Elk numbers in Montana have rebounded from about 8,000 in the 1920s to more than 150,000 today. But agreeing on how many of those ungulates there should be — and where — is a complicated affair.

Black bear
iStock

Black bear sightings are becoming more common on the University of Montana campus, with more than 10 reported this fall semester. Researchers suspect the bears have shifted toward campus in search of food.

The first campus bear of the semester was spotted October 5 and the sightings have increased in frequency in recent weeks. One recent encounter featured two black bears. 

A federal magistrate judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that alleged an irrigation project in northwest Montana harms threatened bull trout.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued the Bureau in March, alleging the Bureau was violating the Endangered Species Act in its operation and management of the St. Mary Diversion Dam and Canal of the Milk River Irrigation Project located east of Glacier National Park.

Gray wolf.
iStock

A coalition of livestock producers, tribes, nonprofits, and landowner groups that sprawls from Montana to New Mexico was awarded a federal grant of nearly $1 million to reduce conflicts between people and predators — especially grizzly bears and wolves.

An map excerpt of the Soldier-Butler Project area.
Lolo National Forest

Two conservation groups Friday sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a proposed logging project in the Lolo National Forest on land wildlife managers say is important for grizzly bear connectivity.

Wolverine
Gerald and Buff Corsi, California Academy of Sciences. (USFS)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials are withdrawing proposed protections for the snow-loving wolverine after determining the rare and elusive predator is not as threatened by climate change as once thought.

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