Park goat population remains constant

July 26th, 2004 - 11:09am


(Port Angeles) -- Officials say the population of mountain goats in the Olympic National Park has remained constant over the past seven years. Biologists have completed the statistical analysis of the mountain goat population survey conducted earlier this month. The current population of mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains is estimated to be between 259 and 320 goats. This estimate is statistically no different from the last three mountain goat censuses, which were conducted in 1990, 1994 and 1997. Park Superintendent Bill Laitner says the estimate gives an up-to-date picture of the mountain goat population - which appears to have held steady since 1990. As in previous years, the aerial count covered about half of the Peninsula’s goat habitat, which includes all areas above 5,000 feet. Areas of both Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest were surveyed. The mountain goat population was significantly higher in 1983, prior to a live-capture operation designed to remove the non-native goats from the park. At that time, the population was estimated to be between 840 and 1,510 goats. Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympic Mountains in the 1920s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park.



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