The sweltering heat and drought that is affecting most of Montana this summer is causing many residents to seek air conditioned comfort as much as possible. However, for Montana's wildlife, there is little escape.

Adult Bald Eagle with two chicks in a nest in a tree on the side of a cliff.
Credit: PaulReevesPhotography

MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks says to avoid bothering wildlife.

In a post on social media this week, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks urged locals and tourists alike to avoid any unnecessary encroachment on creatures you may encounter while out hiking or exploring our abundant nature areas. The post from FW&P's writer #TuesdaysWithTorrey explained how the fight for survival in the wild is difficult enough during normal conditions. Extra heat adds even more weight to the delicate balance. The writer says,

Wildlife are often living “on the edge”, meaning their entire life is basically about survival, and competing for resources while avoiding predators can be a frantic, full-time job. In a situation like this heat wave, where resources are in shorter supply and harder to come by for a lot of species, that full-time job can lead to exhaustion.

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Getty Stock/EEI_Tony
Getty Stock/EEI_Tony

Leave them alone.

In the fight for resources and cool spots to relax, animals don't deserve extra pressure from humans trying to get close for that perfect Instagram pic. Wildlife experts said to be aware of how your presence while out walking the dog, floating the river or hiking a trail can impact wildlife that are just trying to survive the summer. Try to minimize your encounters.

The Montana Wildlife Federation notes that climate change in the Treasure State could affect 11,000 jobs and $281 million income due to stream closures, lost hunting opportunities, wildfires, and reduced snowpack.

Stunning Pictures of the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin

The Sand Wash Basin HMA (Herd Management Area) is located in the northwest corner of Colorado, about 50 miles west of Craig, Colorado, and is home to over 800 wild horses. Scott Wilson is a Colorado photographer who was recently able to capture some amazing pictures of the herd.



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