New Strategies for Wildlife Protection at Logan Pass

Any visitor to Logan Pass has likely experienced a close encounter with a mountain goat or a bighorn sheep. These animals have become habituated to the area as visitation has increased. While there have been no reports of Glacier visitors being injured by habituated ungulates, such injuries—and even deaths— have occurred at other NPS units.

In an effort to keep the wildlife at a safe distance, park staff currently clap, shout, shake rocks in a can and blare their sirens. However, wildlife soon learn that these noises do not carry consequences, and the actions lose their effectiveness.

This project will provide a creative, cost-effective tool for safely moving habituated wildlife by training a dog and a handler to herd mountain goats and bighorn sheep away from the Logan Pass parking lot and other developed areas. Using a trained dog to manage the animals will leverage ungulates’ innate fear and help prevent them from becoming desensitized to one method or another.

This is a pilot program and a new management tool currently being used at other national park units. It will be tested in the first year to determine if it will provide more effective wildlife and visitor protection at Logan Pass.