High up in Montana's Southwestern Crown, an area of mountains, forests, and wilderness roughly the size of Delaware, lies remarkable wildlife. Researchers there have collaborated to conduct long-term studies on some of the rarest carnivores in North America––lynx and wolverine. The data they've uncovered over the past 10 years has yielded critical information about individual animals, their distribution on the landscape, sub-species genetics, and their travel routes. On top of this, researchers are starting to understand how climate change is affecting the species' range and overall health.
But just as impactful, large parts of the Rare Carnivore Monitoring Program's funding is at risk, and if it goes, so too would go the continuity of this critical data that can give provide invaluable insights into remarkable creatures and the places they roam freely.
At its core, this Ghosts of the Southwest Crown is about our relationship with and obligation to the wildlife we share landscapes with. It is one part wonder, utilizing high-resolution camera traps to show viewers unique shots of elusive species many never see, but it is also one part worry, in that without continued support, the science that shows us how to better manage or protect habitat can easily slip away.