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Montana's State Wildlife Action Plan 2015

Montana's revised SWAP was submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on January 9, 2015 and it was approved on July 15, 2015.

Montana’s 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan Executive Summary

Montana’s first SWAP, the Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Conservation Strategy, was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2006. Since then, many conservation partners have used the plan to support their conservation work and to seek additional funding to continue their work. For FWP, SWG dollars have helped implement the strategy by supporting conservation efforts for many different species and habitats. This revision details implemented actions since 2006 (see Appendix C).

This SWAP identifies community types, Focal Areas, and species in Montana with significant issues that warrant conservation attention. The plan is not meant to be an FWP plan, but a plan to guide conservation throughout Montana.

One hundred and twenty-eight Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) are identified in this revision. Forty-seven of these are identified as being in most critical conservation need. In addition to identifying these species, their associated habitats were prioritized as Community Types of Greatest Conservation Need (CTGCN). Twelve terrestrial CTGCN were identified and streams, rivers, and several lakes and reservoirs were identified as aquatic CTGCN. More SGCN are found within these communities than any other types within the state. Therefore conservation efforts implemented in one CTGCN may benefit several species. To further pinpoint areas of greatest conservation need, Focal Areas were identified for both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. These areas were prioritized and 13 aquatic and 14 terrestrial Focal Areas were identified and described in detail in this SWAP.

Current impacts, future threats, and conservation actions were identified for CTGCN and were intended to be implemented across an entire community to get “the biggest bang for the buck.” However, it is not easy to represent this information without being redundant. Instead, the list of actions in this SWAP is categorized by threat/impact and not by the community type for which they were identified. Therefore, not all actions in a threat/impact category will be relevant to all community types. It is recommended that before beginning a project, the list of impacts and threats be reviewed and appropriate actions (e.g. based on community type or habitat type) be incorporated into the project goals.

Actions implemented at the community type scale or for specific Focal Areas will benefit many species associated with these areas. However, species specific actions were also developed for the 47 most critical SGCN. If a project is species specific, the information found in the SGCN section will be of most use.

For successful implementation of this plan, it is critical that conservation actions be tracked so that success can be monitored, and adjustments made in priorities and actions if necessary. FWP will be employing methodologies using the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) Measuring the Effectiveness of State Wildlife Grants – Final Report (AFWA 2011) for consistent reporting and measuring effectiveness.