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The Alaska Mountain Goat, Scientific name: Oreamnos americanus, inhabit the steep, rugged mountain cliffs of Alaska above treeline. They are white in color with slightly curved black "spike" horns which are not shed. Antlers are shed annually, horns are not. The male Mountain Goat is called a Billy Goat and the female is called a Nannie Goat. Billy Goats attain a mature adult weight of about 300 pounds and the Nannies, when a mature are about half the size of the Billy Goats. The horns of the Billy Goats, when mature, are thicker than those of the Nannies more slender horn, but they are about the same length.
The breeding season or "Rut" is in November and December, and the young Goats, called Kids, are born in late May or early June. The Kids remain with the Nannies during the summer and are weaned prior to the Fall Rut. Many Kids die in accidental falls off the cliffs in the steep mountain terrain in which they live. Mountain Goats develop a "suction cup" like hoof which helps them to negotiate the rocky cliffs. The normal lifespan of the Mountain Goat is usually about 12 years.
Mountain goats are both Grazers (foraging on Grasses) and Browsers (foraging on woody shrubs). They move relatively short distances due to changing food supply and seasonal weather conditions. The natural predators of the Mountain Goat are Wolves, Grizzly Bears, and Eagles when the are newborn. Mountain Goats are the most difficult to hunt Alaska Big-game species because of the treacherous mountain terrain in which they live.
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