Instrumenting animals with tracking technology is an important aspect of FWP’s science-based approach to informing management. To this end, FWP and partners have GPS-collared more than 850 elk, 380 mule deer, and 490 pronghorn across Montana since the early 90s. Currently, FWP has approximately 1,200 GPS telemetry devices deployed on animals from several taxa, including large game animals, non-game species, game birds, furbearers, and carnivores. The collection of these spatial data is fundamental to our research, monitoring, and management programs, and can help to:
Identify barriers to animal movements both between and within seasonal ranges and, in so doing, help direct habitat improvement projects such as fence removals or establishing road overpasses or underpasses.
Define herd sub-structuring, which helps to inform survey and inventory methods as well as other management activities such as designing more effective small-scale game damage hunts that target specific groups of animals.
Build seasonal habitat models that can be used to predict seasonal habitat across broad regions of the state and inform habitat improvement projects, conservation easements, and land use planning.
Delineate and map animal migration routes and seasonal ranges to better understand animal movement and preferred use area.
Identify priority areas with frequent wildlife-domestic interactions and the time periods when comingling is most likely to occur.
Biologists take into account limitations when using wildlife tracking data to inform management decisions.Learn more >
Instrumenting animals with tracking technology is an important aspect of FWP’s science-based approach to informing management.Learn more >
Limitations of population sampling and concerns of private landowners.Learn more >