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Dry Canyon Rocky Mountain goat radio-collared
Central Oregon newcomer popular with residents
 
March 9, 2010

 

Rocky Mountain Goat
Dry Canyon’s Rocky Mountain goat was captured and collared on March 3, 2010 so ODFW can track its movements
-Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife -

BEND, Ore.--A male Rocky Mountain goat often visible off Hwy 20 East and popular with residents of central Oregon was radio-collared on March 3.

The goat was first observed in mid-December in Dry Canyon, a location about 15 miles east of Bend. ODFW has not observed Rocky Mountain goats in this location before.

The two-year old goat was radio-collared so ODFW can track its movements. It was in good body condition and released unharmed back into the Dry Canyon area at the capture site. The capture and collaring was accomplished by an aviation company that assists ODFW with wildlife captures.

DNA samples of the goat were also taken during the collaring operation. ODFW will compare the results to other source goat populations to determine where the goat came from.

Rocky Mountain goats are found in several mountain ranges of northeast Oregon and in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, including Mount Adams. Oregon’s largest population is found in the Elkhorn Mountains.

The Dry Canyon goat is not the first to wander far from home. A goat that ODFW believes found its way from the Elkhorn Mountains to The Dalles in 2007 is now on Mount Adams. In summer 2009, another Rocky Mountain goat believed to be from the Elkhorns made it to the Deschutes River. It was collared on the John Day River in October 2009 before returning to an area northeast of La Grande.

Rocky Mountain Goat
The Rocky Mountain goat in Dry Canyon, 15 miles east of Bend. It can sometimes be seen of Hwy 20 East.
-Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife -

“This male is dispersing, and that is what Rocky Mountain goats do, looking for new habitat and for other goats,” explains Steve George, ODFW Deschutes district wildlife biologist. “Goats tend to stay put in the winter, but we expect this one to continue moving once it gets warmer.

Hundreds of central Oregon residents have made the trip out to Dry Canyon to see the goat because it is unique to this area,” continued George. “ODFW staff saw the goat again yesterday and it is doing fine and in the same general location where it was collared.”

Rocky Mountain goats were likely extirpated from Oregon prior to or during European settlement in the late 19th century. The present statewide Rocky Mountain goat population is estimated to be 800, the result of capture and relocation efforts that have been used to help re-establish populations in historic habitat.

See ODFW’s Bighorn Sheep and Rocky Mountain Goat Management Plan for more information:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/management_plans/docs/sgplan_1203.pdf

###

   

Contact:

Steve George (541) 388-6363 Ext 228
Michelle Dennehy (503) 931-2748 Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us

 
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