Southwest Crown of the Continent Rare Forest Carnivore Monitoring
In the winter months, the Blackfoot Challenge’s Wildlife Coordinator and a couple of our seasonal range riders monitor the prevalence and distribution of rare forest carnivores in the upper Blackfoot watershed in cooperation with the Southwestern Crown Collaborative. Focus species for the monitoring efforts include wolverine, Canada lynx, and fisher (which have not been detected throughout the entire Southwest Crown since monitoring efforts began in 2012). Crews also perform track surveys for wolves, mountain lion, marten, and bobcat. Monitoring activities include setting up bait stations and backtracking in an attempt to capture hair samples and/or scat for DNA analysis. When available, trail cameras are used to capture photos and video to verify the species detected at the bait stations.