Wildlife Services

The M-44 is a spring-loaded device that realeases sodium cyanide when triggered. This particular device used a non-toxic substance since it was for a demonstration in Lewistown, June 21, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio


A federal agency agreed to temporarily limit how and where it kills wildlife that threaten livestock in Montana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reached the settlement in federal court with WildEarth Guardians May 14.

Renee Grayson / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Trump administration reauthorized a controversial device used to kill livestock predators Thursday, despite strong opposition. 

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt canceled a planned visit to Montana this week. Bernhardt had planned to meet with Montana ranchers and farmers about grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front as part of his visit.

The M-44 is a spring-loaded device that realeases sodium cyanide when triggered. This particular device used a non-toxic substance since it was for a demonstration in Lewistown, June 21, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

While a federal agency recently reauthorized a poison used in a predator-killing cyanide trap, more states are banning or limiting where they can be used. That includes around 10 million acres of public land in Wyoming.

two wolves standing together
Jeremy Weber / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Hunters and anglers in Montana can now fund wolf mitigation and control efforts. The optional donation on licenses comes from a bill signed into law this legislative session.

A coyote hunts for small mammals in the tall grass, October 2008.
Vince O'Sullivan/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

About a dozen states – including Montana and Wyoming – are allowed to use a controversial device called the M-44. Advocates say it’s an important tool to protect sheep from coyotes. Critics call it a ‘cyanide bomb’ and say it’s too risky for humans and pets. Now, several environmental groups are pushing to ban them at the state and federal level.

A U.S. District Court sided with wildlife advocates this week. It ruled that a federal agency ignored scientific studies that did not support its justification for killing animals.