Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

B&C Fellow - Daniel Bird

University of Montana - Ph.D. Student in Wildlife Biology - Projected to Graduate 2024
Project Title: Modeling Migration and Habitat Use of Elk on the Blackfeet Nation Indian Reservation (Montana, USA) and the Surrounding Landscape

I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and raised on the Santo Domingo Pueblo Indian Reservation, where I am an enrolled tribal member. I am fortunate to have learned my pueblo culture and language, both of which are based upon the agriculture and interactions with natural resources that have shaped our community for thousands of years.

I began to choose my career path in high school as a student at the Santa Fe Indian School. There I completed the course “Environmental Science and Field Study”, which involved field trips to local tribal Natural Resource Departments to learn about on-going projects and environmental issues. Afterwards, during a youth camp for tribal students interested in natural resource fields, I met a local Native wildlife biologist who inspired me to become a professional wildlife biologist myself.

Identifying Migration Routes, Stop-Over Sites, Habitat Use, and Potential Barriers to Elk Movement on the Blackfeet Nation Indian Reservation (Montana, USA) and the Surrounding Landscape

The Blackfeet Nation is concerned that a series of fences and proposed fencing expansions could create barriers to the movement of elk and other species. The impacts of fencing on elk movements, migrations, and populations in general are poorly understood, posing a challenge to natural resource managers and land developers. Potential outcomes may allow managers to address these issues observed through this study. This project will provide important information on elk migration movements and habitat use in the reservation and the broader landscape, including potential connectivity with Glacier National Park and other parts of Montana as well as portions of the province of Alberta. We have already begun forming a collaborative advisory team for this project that includes biologists from the Blackfeet Nation, Glacier NP, Parks Alberta, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Montana FWP and the US Geological Survey.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt