Glacier’s Mountain Goats: A Barometer of Climate Change

Glacier National Park’s most iconic species, the Mountain Goat, is the subject of ongoing research. The National Park Service approved a plan for a park-wide study, beginning in 2018, to better understand how the goats and their habitat will respond to current climate change by studying their ecological drivers, such as snowpack and vegetation.

This grant request fills a funding gap in the NPS project that will provide the means to hire seasonal staff who will actively assist in data collection, animal captures, habitat monitoring, creation of informational handouts and media, and conduct distance learning lessons to more than 800 students around the world each year.

Additionally, this project will support the refurbishing of GPS collars and the purchase of eight additional GPS collars and their associated operation and maintenance charges. GPS collars will improve the accuracy of the information collected and allow for around-the-clock collection of location points for each goat fitted with one of these collars.

Funds also will provide additional capture and handling supplies, telemetry flights, enhanced laboratory analysis of biological samples, as well as additional safety gear for field crews and travel funds for disseminating the results of this project at professional conferences.