Elk Foundation to Assist With Montana Wolf Management
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks accepted a $25,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Its purpose is to assist with FWP's wolf management plan. The funding will be applied to FWP's new Patch Occupancy Modeling approach to estimate a more accurate wolf population, based more on hunter observations, estimating the number of packs from mean territory sizes and estimating abundance using mean pack size. New GPS collars will be deployed on wolves during the 2014 trapping season to obtain location data for more accurate territory sizes and locations.
Montana reported a 2013 minimum wolf count of 627 while stating that in reality, the population is actually 25 to 35 percent higher. That would place the actual wolf count at between 743 and 846. It will be interesting to see what presumed accuracy upgrades have to say. DB
Information derived from a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation press release, 5/29/14