Scientists and Lower Similkameen Indian Band technicians are hoping to learn more about the roughly 30 mountain goats that inhabit Cathedral Provincial Park to avoid potential human-wildlife conflict. (BC Parks photo)

Similkameen mountain goats being tracked to avoid potential human-wildlife conflict

10 mountain goats have been collared and monitored using GPS collars since June

The roughly 30 mountain goats inhabiting Cathedral Provincial Park in the Similkameen have come under the spotlight over concern about potential human-wildlife conflict.

READ MORE: Powwow of Champions competition highlights opioid crisis in Indigenous communities

According to a Parks BC media release, for the last five to seven years, the goats have been drawn to the salt found in urine and sweaty clothing from hikers, making the backcountry campground of Quiniscoe Lake an easy mineral lick for the mountain goats searching for essential nutrients.

Kirk Safford, a conservation specialist with BC Parks, said not much is known about the wild goats in the area. But scientists and Lower Similkameen Indian Band technicians are hoping to change this. In late June and early July, they captured and collared 10 goats.

The collars, which last three to four years, send out a GPS signal every six hours. Researchers can record where the goats are wandering, the release reads. The goal is to learn more about the goats’ habitat use and identify winter range to help address management issues in the park.

Researchers have already seen one goat move 10 kilometres within 12 hours, then stay in the same area for a week. It then moved another 12 kilometres in 24 hours, catching Safford off guard.

“It’s very exciting. We’re seeing movements that we had no idea about,” Safford said in the release.

The collars will also show the goats’ activity around the campground, allowing park staff to monitor the animals that are aggressive towards people.

“Goats exert dominance over each other around mineral licks because it’s such a highly sought-after resource. You put people into that mix in a campground and it poses a risk to both people and the animals. We want to avoid that kind of conflict in a park.”

READ MORE: LSIB photo club holds first exhibit in Keremeos

So far, there has not been any reported incidents of goats being aggressive towards people in Cathedral Park. But some have exerted their dominance by refusing to move off trails.

According to Safford, the best way to prevent goats from coming into the campground is to remove attractants by having park visitors use pit toilets and store sweaty clothing inside tents.

“In a park setting, we want wildlife to be as natural as possible and behave naturally. As long as the salt is there, they will come back.”

The Cathedral Mountain Goat Project is funded through the BC Parks Licence Plate Program, the release says. So far, more than 150,000 specialty licence plates have been sold, generating more than $4.1 million for programs and projects related to conservation, community engagement and Indigenous relations.

This year, approximately $400,000 from the program is going towards wildlife inventory and projects for managing human-wildlife interactions. An inventory of mountain goats is also taking place in Kwadacha Wilderness Provincial Park, located approximately 160 kilometres southwest of Fort Nelson.

To report a typo, email: editor@keremeosreview.com.


@KeremeosReview
editor@keremeosreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 97 petition founder encouraged by public’s reaction

Printed out, the list of 26,000 names creates a stack of paper four inches thick.

RDOS hears concerns about 5G wireless technology

Potential safety concerns raised as communications technology expands

Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Okanagan youth drink, smoke and have sex more than anywhere else in B.C.

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Summerland transgender female follows her passion for hockey

“As soon as you put the jersey on, nothing underneath it matters.You are just a hockey player.”

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read