Mountain Goat

Wolfgang Bayer/DCI

The mountain goat isn't a true goat; it is more like a mountain antelope, but it has many features in common with goats and so it is placed in its own genus.

Mountain goats are considered the best rock climbers in North America and readily move along small ledges, up steep slopes, and across deep chasms.

Their impressive climbing skills permit them to forage in small alpine meadows that are inaccessible to other animals; there they feed on grasses, sedges, lichens, and occasionally the leaves and shoots of shrubs.

Both sexes possess curved black horns, which are used to help age individuals. At about two years of age, a ring is formed in each horn, and every subsequent year a new ring is added; by counting rings, age can be calculated.

Animal Facts

Name: Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus)

Family: Bovidae (Cattle and Relatives)

Range: Western Canada, United States

Habitat: Alpine rocky regions and meadows

Diet: Grasses, woody plants, mosses, lichens, herbaceous plants and other vegetation

Head and Body Length: 3.6 to 6.2 feet (1.1 to 1.9 m)

Tail Length: 3.5 to 7.5 inches (9 to 19 cm)

Shoulder Height: 35 to 39 inches (90 to 100 cm)

Weight: 100 to 249 pounds (45.5 to 113 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating October to December; gestation 147 to 178 days, one or two kids born

Description: Long, thick coat of white hair; thin black horns; stout-bodied; deep chest; large, oval hooves with rubber-like soles

Conservation Status: Not listed by the IUCN.