Mountain goat

(Oreamnos americanus)




Facts about this animal

Both male and female mountain goats have beards, short tails, and long black horns, 15-28 cm in length, which contain yearly growth rings. They are protected from the elements by their woolly white double coats. The fine, dense wool of their undercoats is covered by an outer layer of longer, hollow hairs. In warmer seasons, mountain goats molt by rubbing against rocks and trees, with the adult billies (males) shedding their extra wool first and the pregnant nannies (females) shedding last. In the winter, their coats help them to withstand temperatures as low as -50 Fahrenheit (-46 Celsius) and winds of up to 100 mph (161 km/h).

A billy stands about 1 meter at the shoulder and weighs about 90 kg. It has longer horns and a longer beard than the nanny. Adult males typically weigh between 45 and 100 kg, while females are usually 10-30% lighter.

The mountain goat's feet are well-suited for climbing steep, rocky slopes, sometimes with pitches of 60 degrees or more, with inner pads that provide traction and cloven hooves that can spread apart as needed. Dewclaws on the back of their feet also help to keep them from slipping.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mountain Goat".

Did you know?
that by inhabiting this extreme and remote habitat mountain goats limit competition from other ungulates and predation risk?


Name (Scientific) Oreamnos americanus
Name (English) Mountain goat
Name (French) Chèvre de Montagne
Name (German) Schneeziege, Bergziege
Name (Spanish) Cabra de la montaña, Cabra de las Rocosas
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range Northern Rocky Mountains: Western Canada, Northwestern USA
Habitat Mountainous terrain. On rocky cliffs and alpine meadows, usually above the tree-line.
Wild population Canada: 58.000; United States: 36.000-47.000 (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 108 reported to ISIS (2008)

In the Zoo

Mountain goat


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Requirement 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Robert Shepherd

Why do zoos keep this animal

The mountain goat is not an endangered species. Zoos in North America and Europe keep them mainly for educational reasons in the context of Rocky Mountains exhibit, or beacuase it is the North American equivalent to the chamois.