Part of what makes Montana special is our wildlife and our wild spaces. Montana is so special that it's considered one of the best states for animals. But lately, there's been some concerning stories about animals in Montana, particularly when they're showing up where they're not supposed to be.

Just in the last week or so, we learned that Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks found that people have been dumping private aquariums in Montana's waters, which elicited reminders from FWP about the importance of keeping Montana waters free of invasive species.

READ MORE: FWP Finds Harmful Aquarium Dumping in Montana Waters

This is also the time of year when it's so important for anyone with a watercraft (and that includes stand up paddleboards) to stop at watercraft inspection stations. As early as March of this year, FWP reported a watercraft with invasive mussels was found at a Montana inspection station.

But according to Montana's invasive species website, Zebra Mussels are designated as "Preventable." There is another species of concern that is considered to have "widespread consequences." But here are the invasive species to watch out for in Montana:

  • Bullfrog
  • Eastern Heath Snail
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Feral Swine
  • Flowering Rush
  • Rush Skeletonweed
  • Salt Cedar
  • Zebra Mussels
  • Ventenata

The Invasive Species Montana with "Widespread Consequences"

While there are multiple invasive species on the watch list for Montana, and they do say that the species aren't "ranked in any order" or include all "invasive species of concern" only one of them has been designated as having "widespread consequences", meaning a large area has been infested and it will take a lot of time to manage.

That species is the bullfrog.

Bullfrog on a log

The issue with bullfrogs is that they are known for eating native frog species. You're not even allowed to keep them as pets, according to the Montana code on noncontrolled exotic wildlife.

What can you do if you come across a bullfrog in Montana? You can report it and/or learn more about prevention.

Montana's 'Exotic Noncontrolled Species'

Here's a sample of some of the exotic animals that the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consider "noncontrolled species" meaning they aren't prohibited unless it falls under Montana or Federal law. For more information about these species and other "exotic noncontrolled species" refer to the guidance from Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

13 Alternative Montana Inspired Carousel Rides

Gallery Credit: Chris Wolfe