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State Wildlife Grants Project Details

Terrestrial, Riparian and Wetland SWG Program - Project 2: Species Based Conservation (T-037-2)

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Species-focused projects will seek to protect and restore Tier 1 species identified in the Fish and Wildlife Comprehensive Plan. Conservation activities were mostly aimed at several Tier 1 species identified in Montana's Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Conservation Plan: Prairie Dogs, Sage Grouse, Mountain Plover, Burrowing Owl. Fish, Wildlife and Parks began working on the statewide prairie dog acreage estimate in the fall of 2007. The survey provided a snapshot view of a prairie dog colony only on the day surveyed by air or ground. This survey generated an estimate of 193,865 (SE 15,510) active prairie dog acres. This is a statewide estimate at this point and is only applicable at a landscape level. The current estimate of inactive prairie dog acres is 32,380 (SE 10,069). Fieldwork was completed late in the summer of 2008 and data analysis was completed in the spring of 2009. Further results can be found in the associated reference reports.

Time Span

08/14/2007–08/15/2012 "Incomplete"

Primary Investigator

  • Ryan Rauscher

Focus Areas

  • Bighorn Intermountain Basin
  • Central MT Broad Valleys
  • Montana Glaciated Plains
  • Montana Shale Plains


  • Grassland Complexes
  • Mixed Shrub/Grassland
  • Sagebrush and Salt Flats


  • McDonald, K. 2009.Interim procect report for State Wildlife Grant T-37-HM: Terrestrial, Riparian and Wetland Habitat Conservation. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. 8 pp.

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  • McDonald, K., Rauscher, R., and A. Begley. 2008. Terrestrial SWG Interim Report 1; T37: 8/15/07-8/14/08 . Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. 12 pp.

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