Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wolves to be collared south of Big Timber, MT

16 hours ago  • 

Wolves in two packs living south of Big Timber near the Boulder River drainage will be darted from a helicopter and fitted with radio collars next week, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
FWP biologist Abigail Nelson said timing of the project will depend on weather and that it's likely to take just one day.

The study involves locating wolf packs, tranquilizing at least one animal in each pack, fitting them with radio collars and releasing them at the same location. Biologists then can use radio receivers to track movement of the pack.

“We find it useful to track wolves using radio collars in areas where they overlap with livestock,” Nelson said in a press release. “In particular, knowing how many wolves are in a pack and where and when wolves use an area allows us to make well-informed management decisions.”

Radio collars also help biologists obtain accurate population counts and follow up with management if livestock depredation occurs. Population counts are key to determining harvest quotas and proving that Montana is adequately managing wolves to keep the species off of the endangered-species list. (poster's note: ?????)