PHOTO BY MFWP

While the management of game and sport fish species has been informed by de­cades of data and fieldwork, wildlife managers face significant data gaps for many of Montana's at-risk species. Montana is obligated by law to manage for all wildlife species. Hunting and fishing license sales and other revenue do not provide adequate resources to follow population trends for species of conservation concern. Increased inventory and data collection efforts are essential to assessing species status and identifying conservation actions before a species declines to the point of necessitating federal (Endangered Species Act) protection.

Inventorying and monitoring is a critical component of effective wildlife management and conserva­tion. Wildlife managers have a stated commitment to use science to conduct wildlife management. Managers need better information to improve conservation outcomes. The inventory and monitoring program can leverage partnerships with universities, in-state NGOs, and partner agencies to increase management efficiencies. These partners can provide key technical services to promote the health and conservation of Montana wildlife.

PHOTO BY MFWP

EXPECTED & MEASURABLE OUTCOMES

Funding for inventorying and monitoring species of conserva­tion concern will result in:

Filling data gaps and answering questions for species of conservation concern.

Recovery, management, and monitoring of species to achieve population stability, improved habitat and restored migratory corridors.

A more effective wildlife conservation program that covers a broader range of species.

Species-specific maps of priority areas for conservation and tools for prioritizing conservation efforts.

Reduced species listings by USFWS and better information on habitat use and limiting factors effecting management or conservation actions.

A more effective Wildlife Health Program with improved management and surveillance for wild­ life diseases. Many of these diseases affect livestock, wildlife populations, and/ or hunting and fishing opportunities that people care deeply about.

ESTIMATED NEED

(BASED ON MT FWP PROJECTIONS)

$11.75 million / year

This does not include an addi­tional $200K in fixed costs (automated species survey systems).

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