Montana has a total of nine species that are threatened or endangered; three have been delisted as threatened or endangered species. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has a list of species of interest that feature threatened, endangered, and delisted animals. 

A threatened species has the possibility of becoming endangered in the future based on its range and habitat. An endangered species risks extinction in all or a significant portion of its habitat. A species that has been delisted means the animal is no longer threatened or endangered. Five years of monitoring the animal must be done for it to be considered recovered or delisted under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. 

A total of five species are endangered in Montana. The Kootenai River white sturgeon has been on the Endangered Species list since 1994. The population of white sturgeons has been declining for the last forty years, and the natural reproduction of the species has been insignificant since 1974. The population of the Kootenai white sturgeon has been declining for about 60 years.

The black-footed ferret is one of the rarest animals in North America. Disease and prairie dog control have brought this animal to the brink of extinction. Most feared that the animal was extinct since the last nine captive ferrets died at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 1978. Another endangered species is the pallid sturgeon, historically found in the upper Missouri river. There is also the least tern that was listed as endangered 37 years ago. However, the tern populations on the east and west coast are not endangered. The whooping crane is another endangered species found in Montana.

The grizzly bear is among the threatened species, with roughly 1,100 of them in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem in Montana. There are approximately 1,000 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. 

Bull trout is another threatened species found in western Montana’s Clark Fork and Flathead drainages. Bull trout do not tolerate high sediment levels in the water; it can suffocate embryos before they hatch. The Canada Lynx has been listed as threatened since 2000. Since this is a federally threatened species, trapping and shooting the animal is prohibited. The piping plover is also included on the threatened species list. 

Three animals are considered delisted species. The bald eagle was under federal protection for at least 40 years. This majestic bird’s breeding population has grown significantly since the 1960s. The gray wolf and peregrine falcon are two other delisted species. Montana FWP tries to conserve and manage animals that are native to Montana’s habitat.