MTPR

Maxine Speier

Maxine is a UM Journalism School graduate student working on Montana news for MTPR.

Mule deer.
(PD)

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission gave the go-ahead for a second chronic wasting disease hunt Thursday. The hunt will take place north of Chester along the Canadian border.

Nick Gevock, the conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation, says special CWD hunts are part of an initial response and help wildlife managers determine prevalence of the disease.

Mule deer.
(PD)

Senator Jon Tester introduced legislation today to help in the fight against chronic wasting disease. The introduction of Tester’s bill follows the discovery of the first cases of the disease in Montana’s wildlife.

“We’re seeing it crop up in Montana with regularity and that’s very concerning because it can be very devastating to wildlife,” Tester said.

Elk at a feed ground in Wyoming.
USGS (PD)

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission sent a letter to Wyoming last week asking wildlife managers to reconsider the use of winter feeding grounds in order to help prevent chronic wasting disease.

Dan Vermillion, the chairman of the commission, said "it’s not our position to tell them what to do. It’s not our position to tell them how to manage their wildlife. We’re just asking them as a neighbor to help us."

Bighorn Sheep with suspected sore mouth disease.
Jacob Frank, National Parks Service

Bighorn rams in Yellowstone National Park are getting a lot of attention over some not-so-pretty close ups. Photos on the park’s Flickr page show multiple rams with swollen, distorted mouths.

Park officials said Monday that the photos are believed to depict the park’s first known cases of a sore mouth disease known as contagious ecthyma.

An illegally introduced walleye found in Montana's Swan Lake in 2015.
Courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Biologists with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks have traced the origin of two illegally introduced walleye discovered in Swan Lake.

FWP announced Tuesday that researchers traced the fish back to Lake Helena by looking at their otoliths, or inner ear bones.

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