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The Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit

The University of Montana

Mission Statement

The Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit performs research designed to address the needs of cooperators, bridging the gap between applied and basic wildlife science. Our studies provide new insights useful to management and conservation, based on understanding the ecological mechanisms that underlie habitat requirements and demography of individual and coexisting wildlife species. Research emphases within the Unit include ecology and management of carnivores, applied landscape ecology, management of large game, interactions between forest management and wildlife, environmental influences (predators, habitat, ungulates) on demography and diversity of birds, habitat requirements and community ecology of birds, and comparative demography and life history strategies of birds in differing environmental and geographical contexts. Other research topics are addressed as needed, in keeping with the Cooperative Research Program's mission to best meet the needs of the Cooperators by remaining flexible and open to new areas of inquiry. When Cooperator's needs occur outside Unit expertise, the assistance of appropriate University faculty will be recruited.

Unit staff will advance the training and education of graduate students at the University of Montana by teaching up to one graduate-level course per year in wildlife science, chairing graduate committees of Unit students, and serving on graduate committees of non-Unit students. Technical support and training will be provided to Cooperators and other agencies as the need exists.

Objectives of Coop Units

  • Conduct research into the ecology of renewable natural resources, and to investigate the production, utilization, management, protection, and restoration of such resources. This research will be relevant to the needs of the State, the geographical region, and the Nation.
  • Provide technical and professional education on the graduate and professional levels, in the fields of renewable natural resource sciences.
  • Make available to resource managers, land owners, other researchers, and other interested public, such facts, methods, literature, and new findings discovered through research.
  • To disseminate research findings through the publication of reports, bulletins, circulars, films, and journal and magazine articles.

Purpose of Unit Cooperators

The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Program is a collaborative relationship among states, universities, the federal government and a private, professional conservation organization. It was begun in 1936. The Coop Units conduct research on renewable natural resource questions, provide education for graduate students destined to join the natural resource profession, extend technical assistance and consultation to parties who have interests in natural resource issues, and provide various forms of continuing education for natural resource professionals. The Units are widely regarded as essential cogs in North American's fish and wildlife resource management and conservation.

Main Hall

Main Hall - University of Montana

Joe's Gate

Unit Leader, Joe Ball retired in November of 2004. In honor of his years of dedication and service to wildlife issues, the house and surrounding area used by students and research staff, was renamed. This gate is at the entrance of the Joe Ball Wildlife Research Station located at the Nine Pipes Wildlife Refuge in the Mission Valley, Montana.

Natural Sciences Room 205

Missoula, MT 59812