Our Wildlife

KNRD Wildlife and Terrestrial Resources Division

Cougar Behavior and Modification Study

The Kalispel Tribe in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement and the Steven’s County Sheriff’s Office is conducting research on cougar behavior and modification through the use of hazing/aversive conditioning.  This project will include the use of trained tracking dogs to capture cougars and fit them with GPS tracking collars, then will require several recapture events to study modifications to their behavior over the course of the project.  The goal of this project is to better understand how cougars respond to human/dog interactions and if they “learn” to avoid people and pets.

If you encounter the dogs while they are at work, please do not approach them or attempt to tether them.  The dogs are friendly and well-trained and are equipped with GPS based tracking collars to help the handlers locate them quickly.

If you have more specific questions about this research project or if you encounter a collared cougar please report the sighting to the project biologist, Bart George 509 671 6149.

Updates on the Cougar Study

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Chronic Wasting Disease

by Wildlife Biologist Megan Turnock

What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)?

CWD is a prion disease within the family of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) that affect deer, elk, moose, and caribou.

  • TSE’s are also known as “prion” diseases.
  • They are a group of rare degenerative diseases that cause holes to form within the brain.
  • Prion diseases have long incubation periods (usually around 12 to 18 months) with many varying symptoms.

Because CWD mimics many diseases, laboratory testing is the only way to determine if animals on tribal lands are infected.

Submit a CWD Sample

KNRD 2023 CWD Sampling

This fall, KNRD wildlife staff will be collecting chronic wasting disease (CWD) samples from deer and elk. If you harvest or salvage an adult (greater than 1 year old) deer or elk in Region 1 of Washington, please submit a sample for testing. Retain the animal’s head with 2-3 inches of neck attached to ensure lymph nodes can be collected. Options to submit a sample include:

  • Call 509-447-7279 or email cwd@knrd.org and we will coordinate a time to collect a sample from your animal.
  • New! Drop off a sample anytime at one of our two self-serve CWD sample collection boxes. We will accept whole deer and elk heads or you can extract the lymph nodes yourself if you want to retain your animal’s head/skull. Boxes will be out from September through mid-December and are located at:
    • The Boat Barn at headquarters (73 Pow Wow Park, Cusick, WA 99119)
    • The Kalispel Horn Contest board at the Kalispel RV Resort (370 Qlispe River Way, Cusick, WA 99119)
  • Stop at a WDFW hunter check station on weekends during modern firearm season.

All samples collected will be tested free of charge as part of WDFW’s CWD surveillance program and results are usually available in 2-4 weeks. In addition, for every 10 samples KNRD receives we will do a drawing for a $50 gas card.

CWD has NOT been detected in Washington, but it is spreading and is now present in 31 U.S. states including Idaho and Montana. Please spread the word and get your harvested animals tested so we can monitor the health of our local deer and elk populations!

For more CWD info:


Habitat Conservation and Restoration

Conserving Our Heritage

The Pend Oreille River drainage and Selkirk Mountains provide habitat for the fish and wildlife that sustained the Kalispel people since the beginning. In this ever changing modern we must do our best to conserve the foundation of our culture. These wild places and cold streams bring life. Using modern technology we are able to invest wisely into restoration projects that will restore habitat across the landscape.


Pine Martin


Forest Carnivores Studies

Studying these reclusive predators is challenging. KNRD Biologists utilize bait lures and trail cameras to capture images and DNA that can help us better understand how these animals are using the landscape.


The Fisher is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North America. It is a member of the mustelid family (commonly referred to as the weasel family). The fisher is closely related to, but larger than, the pine marten. The fisher is a forest-dwelling creature whose range covers much of the boreal forest in Canada to the northern United States.

Pine Marten

The smaller cousin of the Fisher, the Pine Marten may be small but this voracious forest carnivore is an effective predator. Their diet consists mostly of small rodents, but they are opportunistic and they are know to eat animals as large as a snowshoe hare.


The Wolverine is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae. It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. A solitary animal, it has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself.