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Montana considers ND request for sage grouse

By The Associated Press
Published On: Dec 23 2012 03:32:44 PM MST
sagegrouse
BILLINGS, Mont. -

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has approved looking into a plan to send 80 female sage grouse to North Dakota to bolster dwindling populations.
    
Reports say that the commission on Thursday gave the OK for biologists to look into sending 40 female sage grouse to North Dakota in 2014 and another 40 in 2015.
    
North Dakota Department of Game and Fish officials made the request because the state's population of sage grouse has plummeted since an outbreak of West Nile virus in 2007.
    
North Dakota biologist Aaron Robinson says the population could be so low that natural reproduction might not be covering natural mortality. Montana biologists say it's unclear if they can help because sage grouse in Montana also face problems.