GREAT FALLS – In the ongoing effort to prevent and reduce conflicts between grizzly bears and livestock operations on the Rocky Mountain Front, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are continuing a free carcass collection and removal service again this spring.
Carcasses of dead livestock and other animals are significant attractants for grizzly bears, particularly in the spring as the bears emerge from winter dens. Livestock carcasses near homes are particularly a human safety issue as the bears will come near residences to acquire the carrion. Carcass removal helps reduce attractants that might otherwise draw bears into conflict with people or livestock. Placing electric fencing around carcass piles is another option to keep bears away from homes and livestock herds.
This partnership for carcass removal will focus on private lands primarily in Teton and Pondera counties. The carcasses will be removed and buried at the Northern Montana Joint Refuse District Landfill, east of Valier. Producers from participating counties may also drop off carcasses themselves. The program will run until annual funds are depleted or when demand drops off.
Grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem of Montana, which includes the Rocky Mountain Front, are still listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Bear populations in the NCDE are estimated, conservatively, at 1,000, which surpasses recovery goals outlined in the USFWS’s grizzly bear recovering plan.
For more information or to have carcasses removed, call 406-468-8898.
(feature photo via NPR)