BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife commissioners have closed down the state's gray wolf season in some areas north of Yellowstone National Park in response to a spate of recent shootings of animals that had been collared for scientific research.

The move shuts down hunting and trapping in areas to the east and west of the town of Gardiner, just days before trapping season was set to begin. But wildlife commissioners did not yield to pressure from wildlife advocates to create a permanent and more extensive buffer around the park.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission chairman Bob Ream said commissioners were addressing only "the particular and unique situation" of collared wolves being shot. Marc Cooke with the group Wolves of the Rockies calls Monday's closure of some areas was a positive step.