Mountain Goat animal<<<< Back to wild animals
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Bovidae
- Genus: Oreamnos
- Conservation status: Least concern
- Length: 120 - 180 cm (40 - 70 in)
- Height: 1 m (3.3 ft)
- Weight: 40 - 140 kg (100 - 300 lbs)
- Food: Herbivore ( Plants, Grass)
- Speed: up to 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Predators: Wolf, Mountain Lion, eagle
- Sexual Maturity: up to 12 months
- Gestation Period: up to 6 months
- Lifespan: 9 - 12 years
- Litter size: 1 - 2 kids
- Other names: doe, nanny, Rocky Mountain goat
- Distinctive Feature: Amazing climbing abilities. Can jump nearly 12 feet (3-4 meters) in a single bound
Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) belong to the Bovidae family, which includes antelopes, gazelles and cattle, and the Caprinae subfamily along with 32 other species, including domesticated goats, sheeps, cattle, etc.
It is spread in many mountainous regions of the globe: the Alps, the Savoy region (Italy, Switzerland) all the way to southern France, the Pyrenees, Dalmatia, Greece, the Carpathians, the Caucasus Mountains, Styria (Austria), Slovakia, Schwarzwald (Germany), North America (Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, etc.). Mountain goats are the largest mammals encountered at high altitude, they reach heights of 4,000 meters or more. They were seen on sea shores in coastal areas, but rarely.
Mountain goats were introduced to Utah in the late 1960s, and since the initial release of six goats, their population has increased to more than 2,000. When a group gets too large for its range, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources captures and moves some of the goats to other populations throughout the state.
Food Mountain Goat
Mountain goats are ruminants and spend most of their time grazing. Their diet includes various herbs, plants, ferns, in winter they feed on moss, leaves, small shrubs found at high altitudes, etc.
Appearance Mountain Goat
Both male and female have beards, short tail (8-10cm) and long horns (15-28cm), on which can be seen the annual growth rings. They have a height of 110-130cm and a shoulder height of 75cm, weighing between 30 and 50kg. The mountain goat has a relatively short body, muscular legs with cloven hooves, a relatively long neck ended with a short head equipped with two ringed horns bent backwards. Behind the horns there are two glands that secrete during mating season a sticky and fragrant liquid.
The legs are adapted to mountainous rocks, being able to climb slopes with an angle of 60 degrees, the cloven hooves can be spread apart if needed. Also, mountain goats have some sort of spurs, which help downhill or sliding.The color varies from breed to breed, there are gray mountain goats, white, black (Carpathians), brown, etc. In winter the fur helps them withstand temperatures of -50 degrees and winds up to 160 km/h.
Behavior Mountain Goat
Daily exercise consists in the ”walk” of each individual in search of food, recreation and shelter from predators on a given area. They live in groups of 15-30 individuals. A goat stands guard all the time to alert the group in case of danger.
Reproduction Mountain Goat
Mountain goats usually live between 12 and 15 years. In zoos they can live 16 up to 20 years. The kids are born in spring , in late May or early June after a gestation period of 6 months. Usually a single calf is born weighing less than 3kg at birth. Within hours after birth they can follow their mothers in the mountains. Although they are weaned after about a month, the kids stay with their mothers for almost a year when the goat gives birth to another kid.
If after one year the goat doesn’t give birth, this will stay near its mother for a longer period, she will protect him from hazards and predators. Sexual maturity is reached after about 30 months. Mating occurs from late October to early December, during which the male and female mate with several individuals.
Did you know that:
Some of the most talented climbers are mountain goats?
Mountain goats inhabit the highest mountains in Europe: the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, etc.