A few Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) were introduced to the Olympic Peninsula in the mid 1920’s, and have since multiplied. Because they trample and wallow in high meadows, they threaten endemic plants. They also prefer to travel along trails, the same ones tourists and hikers use, and confrontations can be dangerous.
We photographed the male, female and kid in photos 1 and 2 on the Mt. Ellinor trail in Olympic National Forest. Check out the size-twelves on the kid.
We took the remaining photos in Olympic National Park. The male in photo 3 was travelling ahead of us up the switchback trail to Klahane Ridge, occasionally causing hikers to wait for him to move. Here’s his track in the dusty trail.
We took photos 4, 5 and 6 on the Sunrise Ridge trail between Hurricane Ridge and Klahane Ridge. This group of two females and kids apparently travelled back and forth on this heavily used trail for much of the summer of 2009. (4) The female in photo 5 has a radio-tracking collar. Photo 6 shows a female with a kid nursing.
Mountain Goats in Olympic National Park: Biology and Management of an Introduced Species
History, Distribution, and Abundance, D. B. Houston, V. Stevens, and B. B. Moorhead