Researchers, Land Managers Track Small Carnivores in Crown of the Continent

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA — Researchers and land managers in western Montana are collecting DNA samples and tracking small carnivores to learn their numbers and distribution across the southwest Crown of the Continent.

The researchers are trying to find out the hotspots wolverine, lynx, fisher and other small carnivores frequent as prime habitat or migration corridors.

The Missoulian reports the collaborative study will help inform land-management decisions when planning forest thinning, timber sales, fuel reduction and restoration.

Northwest Connections executive director Melanie Parker says researchers want to identify how the carnivores behave across large landscapes so they know what changes are occurring in 15 or 20 years.

The monitoring project is funded in part through the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.

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