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Mountain goats near Smithers BC Canada

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Facts - The Herd

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The herd

Mountain goats are gregarious and have a strong social structure. The main herd is made up of mature females (nannies),  new-born ( kids) and young males and females less than three years of age. The leader of the herd is often the oldest female. The herd usually numbers between 5 and 30.

There is a pecking order within the herd from the oldest female down to the newest kid. The herd always stays together but each goat will show some aggression toward lower ranked members over the best feed or the best resting spot. Mountain goats do not butt heads but instead approach sideways head to tail and threaten to gore the belly and hind quarters.

Maternal behaviour

Nannies are very attentive to their kids. But the scientific literature suggests that nannies may abandon their young to a predator rather than risk their own life.


Male band

Mature males either stay alone or form a small band of two to five individuals. The male band often stays within sight of the main herd but higher on the slope. Studies have found that males often feed in areas away from escape terrain with a higher risk of predation.




mountain goat kid
Mountain goat kid






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