The Daily Inter Lake reports that Mike Mitchell, unit leader of the University of Montana’s Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, is one of the scientists developing a newer method to track animal populations — not by counting, but by estimating. Called patch occupancy modeling (POM), it’s been tested for a decade by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. In October, the agency received a $50,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to hone it further. Questions linger about its suitability, but POM is now poised to replace minimum counts as Montana’s preferred wolf tracking method. Read the full story here.