Montana Public Radio

wildlife

Bull elk
(PD)

Of the no less than eight cases of poaching Montana wildlife officials are currently investigating, some of the game animals were killed and left to rot where they fell. Others were found decapitated, but otherwise untouched.

One Montana educator has spent years researching poachers and has found they’re motivated by many different factors.

Montana wildlife officials say a mule deer buck harvested during archery season northeast of Joliet tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is offering rewards for information in four new poaching cases in Big Timber, Hamilton and north of Billings.

Golden eagle.
(PD)

The sky of west-central Montana turns into a highway for migrating golden eagles this time of year. And as the birds fly south, researchers are counting. Local researchers say annual counts show North America’s largest bird of prey’s migratory population is struggling in Montana.

Beau Albright and his girlfriend Chloe Quiambao scan mountains near Libby for white-tailed deer and elk, Oct. 26, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Both deer and elk rifle hunting seasons opened across the state Saturday and hunters hiked into the woods at the crack of dawn in the hopes of coming out with some fresh meat to stock their freezers. That ritual was a little different this year for hunters in the Libby area, where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in white-tailed deer.

Two grizzly bear cubs killed by a train near Trego were discovered Oct. 15, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Conservation groups announced Monday that they sent a letter to BNSF Railway threatening a lawsuit over grizzly bears killed along its train tracks. So far this year, a record eight grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been killed by trains.

Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It’s illegal to kill them, even if it’s an accident.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating several recent human-caused grizzly bear deaths in southwest Montana. 

Bison in Yellowstone National Park
YellowstoneNPS-flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

A lawsuit filed in federal court Monday is challenging a long-contested bison hunt near Yellowstone National Park.

A group of Gardiner residents says the annual winter bison hunt just north of the park is unsafe for property owners, hunters, and tourists.

Grizzly bear mother and cub, stock photo.
(PD)

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) moved three grizzly bears from the Bigfork and Libby areas after the animals attempted to access human food.

Walleye are invasive species in western Montana.
Eric Engbretson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PD).

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved an emergency order Thursday requiring anglers in Upper, Middle and Lower Thompson lakes to kill any walleye caught in those bodies of water and turn the fish over to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).

This comes just a week after FWP discovered two non-native female walleyes in Upper Thompson Lake during a routine fishery survey. The fish are thought to be illegally introduced and can severely alter ecosystems.

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