Killing These 5 Montana Animals Could Land You Behind Bars
One of the things that Montana is well known for is its wildlife. We have some of the most beautiful animals on Earth in our state. However, we've also got animals that are federally endangered, which prevents them from being killed, harmed, or possessed in any way. There are five species listed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) Species of Interest page that are protected as endangered species. Leave them alone if you see them.
Don't let their cute, cuddly appearance tempt you into trying to capture and own it as a pet. The Black-footed Ferret is North America's only native ferret species and is incredibly rare. Once thought extinct, a colony of them was found and bred to increase their population then released into the wild once again. To this day, any Black-footed Ferret is a descendant of that colony.
The Least Tern is the smallest tern species in North America. Their presence in Montana is rarely seen, although they may be seen during mating season in the Northeast portion of the state. The species has been listed as endangered since 1985, according to Montana FWP.
Sturgeons are ancient creatures, existing thousands of years ago. If you've ever heard of or eaten caviar, that's Sturgeon eggs. However, Pallid Sturgeons are endangered due to excessive damming efforts of the Missouri River, and it's caused their reproductive efforts to wane in recent years.
Another Sturgeon species native to Montana, the White Sturgeon is the largest species of freshwater fish in North America. In Montana, the White Sturgeon exists within the Kootenai River and was listed as endangered in 1994 after years of a declining population due to pollution.
One of the tallest birds in North America, the Whooping Crane is called such because of the whooping noise it makes. Their population, which is only 319 according to Montana FWP, stretches from Canada all the way down through Texas. The Aransas Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast houses 190 of them in a conservation effort.
Please understand the importance of saving these endangered species, and leave them alone if you find them in the wild. If not, you could spend some time behind bars. Think before you act.