Skip to main content

Mountain Goat

Wendy Shattil / Rob Rozinski

The largest mammals to roam the alpine mountains of North America, mountain goats are natural born climbers. With specialized hooves that provide excellent traction, mountain goats can scale even the most precarious slopes—a feat that enables them to evade most predators. Mother goats or “nannies” are extremely protective of their young and can travel in herds, sometimes fighting off rival herds of nannies for food and space if resources become scarce.

Climate Change Impacts

Mountain goats prefer to live in alpine meadows and rocky slopes above the tree line. But as temperatures rise, earlier snowmelts will enable trees to colonize the meadows the goats depend on. As their alpine habitat shrinks, mountain goats will be crowded into even smaller areas where they will have to compete with each other for increasingly limited resources.