Montana State-wide Bighorn Initiative


Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Funding provided by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks bighorn sheep auction sales matched with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grants-in-Aids funds.

​Greater Yellowstone Area

Mountain Ungulate Project (GYA MUP)

National Park Service
P.J. White, Supervisory Wildlife Biologist, Yellowstone NP, Mammoth WY
Sarah Dewey, Wildlife Biologist, Grand Teton NP, Moose, WY

Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Doug Brimeyer, Wildlife Biologist, Jackson, WY
Gary Fralick, Wildlife Biologist, Thayne, WY
Kevin Hurley, Bighorn Sheep Coordinator, Cody, WY (retired)
Doug McWhirter, Wildlife Biologist, Cody, WY

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
Julie Cunningham, Wildlife Biologist, Bozeman, MT
Tom Lemke, Wildlife Biologist, Livingston, MT (retired)
Karen Loveless, Wildlife Biologist, Livingston, MT
Justin Paugh, Wildlife Biologist, Big Timber, MT
Shawn Stewart, Wildlife Biologist, Red Lodge, MT

Idaho Fish and Game
Hollie Miyasaki, Wildlife Biologist, Idaho Falls, ID
Dale Toweill, Wildlife Program Coordinator, Boise, ID

United States Forest Service
Jody Canfield, Wildlife Biologist, Gallatin National Forest, Bozeman, MT
Rachel Feigley, Wildlife Biologist, Gallatin National Forest, Livingston, MT
Andrew Pils, Wildlife Biologist, Shoshone National Forest, Cody, MT
Dan Tyers, Wildlife Biologist, Bozeman, MT

Funding provided by the following agencies:
Yellowstone National Park
Canon U.S.A., Inc. through the Yellowstone Park Foundation
Montana State University
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Idaho Fish and Game
United States Forest Service
Montana Wild Sheep Foundation
Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation
Wyoming Governor's Big Game License Coalition

Our Mission
We are a team from the Ecology Department at Montana State University (Bozeman) that strives to use strong multi-agency collaboration and rigorous science to learn about the ecology of two iconic ungulate species, bighorn sheep and mountain goats, that occupy the rugged and mountainous landscapes of Montana and the Yellowstone ecosystem. Our studies began in response to the need of regional agencies for information about the spatial ecology, demographics, competition dynamics, disease, and effects of global warming on the native bighorn sheep populations (that have suffered drastic declines during European colonization) and the non-native mountain goat (that was introduced for hunting opportunity beginning in the early 1940's). We hope to provide these agencies with critical, science-derived insight in order to enhance decision-making, management, and conservation for these two species.                                 Meet the MSU team here! >

Research Initiatives
The project began in 2009 with the Greater Yellowstone Area Mountain Ungulate Project (GYA MUP), which has focused on both bighorn sheep and mountain goat ecology in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and continues to provide new insight for applied management and conservation. Recently and through funding and collaboration with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, the Montana State-wide Bighorn Initiative (MTBI) was formed to understand the ecology of bighorn sheep in Montana given the challenges to the conservation of this species throughout the state.  

Below are listed the agencies and people that have provided generous support for our two research initiatives and continue to help make the research a success. There are many other unmentioned biologists, wardens, technicians, and citizens that have provided valuable and enthusiastic assistance in many aspects of these projects. We are sincerely grateful to all.

About Us