Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Montana Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Montana Wildlife Project

Monitoring the health of wolves by creating bio-fences and using DNA Analyses

November 2009 - December 2012


Participating Agencies

  • The Bernice Barbour Foundation, Inc.

We have developed several new, non-invasive techniques for wolf population monitoring that do not require capture and handling of wolves. These novel, cutting-edge tools include howlboxes, rub stations, and DNA rendezvous site surveys. These methods have shown great promise over the last 3 years. Continued testing and refinement of these new methods on a statewide scale will ensure they are embraced by the agencies that have made commitments to conserve wolves into the future. A new non-lethal tool that would protect both wolves and livestock in the Rockies. Specifically, we propose using human-deployed wolf scents and urine to establish a "biofence" that can be used to manipulate wolf pack movements on the landscape. This tool mimics wolves natural behavior of maintaining distance from other packs through scent-marking and can be used to non-lethally decrease conflicts between wolves and livestock and reduce subsequent wolf deaths.