Jan 25 2012


MISSOULA, Mont. –The University of Montana’s Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit (MCWRU) has received $150,000 from the Regina Bauer Frankenberg Foundation to study wolf populations in the Rocky Mountain Region. The grant will be disbursed in three payments of $50,000 per year.
“The Frankenberg Foundation’s support was instrumental in helping us develop noninvasive survey methods for wolves,” said David Ausband, research associate, MCWRU. “Now their continued generosity will allow us to use those cutting-edge tools to answer important and timely questions about wolf pack stability and wolf conservation in the Rocky Mountains.”
The Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit is a unique collaborative relationship between states, universities, the federal government and a non-profit organization. Coop Units conduct research on renewable natural resource questions, participate in the education of graduate students destined to join the natural resource profession, provide technical assistance and consultation to parties who have interests in natural resource issues, and provide various forms of continuing education for natural resource professionals.
This gift will be used to study wolves across Alberta, Idaho, and Yellowstone National Park. Mortality varies widely among the three areas and may impact pack behavior, and ultimately, population growth. Genetics will provide insight into how mortality might affect pack composition and stability. This will provide a test of whether stable packs (those experiencing little human-caused mortality) contribute more to population growth, expansion, and wolf recovery.
“Support like this plays a pivotal role in the research mission of the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit,” said Michael Mitchell, unit leader, MCWRU. “Working in partnership with the state, federal, and tribal agencies, we are able to conduct the kind of research that strongly contributes to effective conservation of wildlife species such as wolves.”

The Regina Bauer Frankenberg Foundation supports organizations and programs that promote the care, conservation, treatment, well-being and prevention of cruelty to animals.