A quick and easy way to make a difference for wildlife in Montana is to check YES next to the eagle on the Montana state income tax form. "A single check mark helps raise funds for a variety of research, education and management programs for non-game wildlife," said Ron Aasheim, a spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
Marking this box automatically sets aside a tax-deductible contribution to the Watchable Wildlife fund administered by FWP.
In the past, these contributions have helped pay for the Montana Bird Distribution guidebook which identifies the types of birds to watch for in different parts of the state. The guidebook is available from the Montana Audubon web site at http://www.audubon.org/chapter/mt/mt .
Watchable Wildlife funds have also helped support the nearly 100 Watchable Wildlife site markers around the state. Watch for the brown signs with a line drawing of binoculars. FWP offers these tips to those interested in watching wildlife:
Fade into the woodwork, wear natural colors and keep a low profile.
Let animals be themselves, resist the temptation to "save" infant and young animals as their mothers are usually watching from a safe distance.
Dont share your food as human food may harm or upset wild digestive systems.
Stick to the sidelines, using binoculars or zoom lenses. Give nests a wide berth.
Use your senses including smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight to spot wildlife.
Relax--animals can detect tension, even from a distance.
Think like an animal, what would a particular animals daily schedule be?
Animals generally see, hear or smell humans long before the human sees or hears them.
Depending on how far away a human is and how they act, an animal will stay, defend itself, or flee. The most successful wildlife watchers are expert at keeping a low profile and blending into an animals surroundings to avoid triggering the animals fight or flight response.