Mountain Goat Facts and Information
Introduction to Mountain Goat
The Rocky Mountain Goat is what the Mountain Goat is commonly called due to where it resides. They are about 3.5 feet tall and they can weigh from 100 to 300 pounds. The males are going to weigh more than the females.
Mountain Goat Description
The hoofs of this goat are very large to help it on the rugged terrain where it lives. They have a very unique pattern to them that prevents them from slipping as they climb very high at fast speeds.
|Conservation status||Least Concern|
Horns are found on the Mountain Goat – both for males and for females. They also have a short tail. The body is covered in thick white fur. It actually offers them a double coat of protection from the elements.
They have short black horns on the top of the head. Each year they develop rings and that information helps experts to determine the age of the Mountain Goat.
Mountain Goat Distribution
North America is the only location where the Mountain Goat is found. It lives in the higher mountain regions. They are frequently found around rocky cliffs and that offers them protection from predators. Most other animals can’t climb such difficult forms of terrain. They are often in elevations up to 13,000 feet from the ground.
The Rocky Mountain region as well as the Cascade Mountain range are the most common places where this goat is found .The states of Idaho, Montana, and Washington have large populations. They are also found in Alberta Canada and into Alaska. The populations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Texas are due to them being introduced there. However, they have been able to thrive.
Mountain Goat Behavior
In the spring the Mountain Goat can be seen rubbing the body against rocks. This helps them to shed their outer coat. They won’t need it for the warmer weather. It will grow back in time for them to be well protected from the colder period of the year. In the winter they can live in conditions that include 100 mile per hour wind and temperatures at -50 Fahrenheit.
The Mountain Goat can be heard offering a variety of sounds. They enjoy interacting with each other. The females often communicate encouragement and direction to their young.
Mountain Goat Feeding
A great deal of the time for the Mountain Goat is spent grazing. They are herbivores and consume a variety of grass and plants. They also will consume ferns, moss, lichen, and herbs. They may find leaves and twigs that they will consume too. Those that live in captivity are often fed grains.
Mountain Goat Reproduction
There is a gestation period of 6 months before the young arrive. They are called kids. There is usually only one born at a time. The female called a nanny will go off alone for the birth to occur. The young are about 7 pounds when they are born. They are able to move and to climb very well within a couple of hours. Then those females with young will form nursery groups with the young.
They will grow rapidly and they are often weaned from the milk of the mother within 1 month. Still, the young will stay very close to their mothers for about 1 year. The mothers will do all they can to protect them from predators, to guide them through the terrain, and to make sure they get plenty of food. Nannies can be very aggressive about territory and food when they have a kid to care for.
The average life expectancy in the wild for the Mountain Goat is 12 to 15 years. As they get older their teeth will wear down and that is when they often aren’t able to continue eating.