Mountain Goats are the only animals that occupy the same rugged territory and mountain peaks as
the Dall sheep. These animals are spread throughout Alaska occupying the large surrounding areas
of coastal mountains. Mountain Goats are much like the Dall sheep in their size, lifestyles,
They generally are 4 to 5 feet long and 3 to 3 ½ feet tall. They weigh an average of 190 to 280 pounds for males and 130 to 190 pounds for females.
These animals with their long and thick white coats normally reside in the alpine zone. Then as winter approaches they make their way down the mountains.
Although these animals are great climbers and take amazing vertical challenges, they often get overconfident and find themselves on cliffs that are too high or tight places with no obvious way of escape. When in this situation, their panic and frustration becomes very noticeable. They flatten their ears and raise their tails. After demonstrating their alarm in such a way they can be led from such heights and tight places by other goats.
These animals are also great travelers moving distances of 3,000 feet in a matter of hours. In the winter they tend to feed on grass, ferns, and sedges. In the summer as they migrate down the mountain, they generally feed on grass and forbes along the way.
Mountain Goats provide a very good source of meat, oils, and fur. Natives often used the Mountain Goat as a large part of their lifestyles in surviving the harsh winters. Mountain Goats often breed during the winter in the months of November or December.
Text by: Alaska's Mammals (Pg. 34-35),
Big Game of Alaska (Pg. 50),
Alaska Wildlife Treasures (Pg. 142-143)
Photo by: AK Division of Tourism
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