Centennial Carnivore Connectivity Project
- LOCATION: Idaho & Montana, USA
- DOGS: Finny, Wicket, Camas & Tsavo
- PURPOSE: To determine habitat selection and movement patterns of grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lion, and wolf
- TARGET SCENTS: grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lion, & wolf scats
- PARTNER/CLIENT: Wildlife Conservation Society, Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust
The Centennials are a breathtaking, rugged mountain range. Tracking, trapping, and radio-collaring grizzlies, black bears, mountain lions, and wolves across miles of rough, remote terrain would have been a nearly impossible job. A job made even harder by the extensive (and expensive) permitting required by the mosaic of public and private entities that own and manage the land.
Instead, WDC trained Pepin to locate the scats of these four wide-ranging carnivores. Then we quietly and non-invasively collected five years of data, revealing that all four species use the Centennial Mountains as a migratory corridor between the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and central Idaho wilderness areas. Our dogs surprised researchers by locating grizzly and wolf scats in places nobody knew they had re-colonized.
These data helped halt a development that included 1200 homes and an 18-hole golf course, keeping this critical corridor intact.