Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The mountain goat, Oreamnos americanus, naturally occurs in southeastern Alaska, western Canada, and in parts of northern Idaho, Montana, and Washington. The mountain goat was likely native to Utah in the past, but it did not occur in the state during recent times until the late 1960s, when the species was first re-introduced to the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Mountain goats prefer extremely steep and rugged areas above the timberline, and are excellent rock climbers. They typically migrate to lower elevations in the winter. Females give birth to one or two (possibly three) kids during May or June, usually on steep rocky slopes or cliffs. Interestingly, young are able to follow their mothers through rocky cliffs shortly after birth. Mountain goats eat a variety of grasses and shrubs, as well as lichen, mosses, and conifers.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.