The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently completed their 2019 Mountain Goat Parturition (Birthing) Areas study for the Palisades Herd.
According to Wildlife Biologist Gary Fralick, the department spends “considerable time in late spring and early summer trying to locate areas in the Snake River Range that are important to nannies just before and immediately after they give birth.”
According to Fralick, as part of the survey the WGFD attempts to identify areas that are “critical to the survival of the Palisades mountain goat herd east of Alpine.”
“One of the important habitats are the areas that females, or nannies, seek out each June to give birth to one or two kids,” he said. “These parturition areas are typically steep and rocky, and usually in cliffs. The importance of seeking out a secure birth site can determine the survival of a the kids. This is why most kids are not seen by the public until they are two to three weeks old — after they are capable of traveling with adults.”
Fralick noted that the ability of mountain goat kids to get their feet underneath them as soon as possible is essential to their survival.
“It is a biological characteristic of most female wild ungulates that just prior to giving birth they will find a secluded place for themselves,” Fralick said. “Once the kids are born it is typically another two to three weeks before nannies will form nursery bands. These nursery bands are loose associations of adult females and their current year’s offspring. During this time several nannies will bring their kids together for what is typically the remainder of the summer and fall. Kids may be seen playing with each other while gaining the strength and agility that will allow them to negotiate the cliffs and rock outcrops of the Snake River Range in Wyoming.”