Brett French – Learning about wildlife migrations
By Kamp Cook

Posted: October 22, 2022

A recent publication brings several wildlife migration studies all into one place, highlighting how the use of GPS collars has helped track elk, mule deer and pronghorns. The idea behind the report, one of the authors noted, is to bring attention to where these routes are and to ensure they are preserved and protected. Montana’s main long-range migration route is found in northeast Montana where pronghorns move back and forth over the Canadian border and even occasionally cross Fort Peck Reservoir. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is also in its last year of a three-year study of pronghorns in Eastern Montana. Four hundred of the 700 pronghorn collared are still transmitting. What the GPS data has shown is these speed goats, although they move around a lot to find food, don’t have traditional migration routes, according to Justin Gude, FWP’s chief of the Wildlife Research & Technical Services Bureau. In a separate tracking study in south-central Montana, FWP has tracked mule deer that move from the Belfry area north toward Rock Creek and Cooney Reservoir. Red Lodge biologist Shawn Stewart originally thought the animals may be moving south into Wyoming and the Beartooth Mountains, but that’s not the case. These deer are a concern because this was the first place chronic wasting disease was identified in Montana. To learn more about the studies, check out my story at https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/migration-accumulation-report-highlights-importance-of-wildlife-corridors/article_1eed5352-4a7e-11ed-8375-5f7fc37225de.html