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

Updated: City of Revelstoke workers vote to strike

This comes a day after city council gave themselves a raise

Revelstoke councillor revokes support for raises for mayor and council

Cody Younker proposed the raises in the first place and now no longer supports them

Fair pay? Revelstoke council seeks wage similar to Salmon Arm counterparts

Neighbouring mountain town pursues different path to increase remuneration

Highway 1 to close west of Revelstoke for avalanche control

DriveBC says the road will be closed between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

LETTER: Cross is a man of integrity and honesty

Dear editor, Another year has gone and wow are things getting better,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Health upgrades in South Okanagan and Similkameen forecast to cost nearly $10 million

Capital projects include CT scanner, medical vacuum system, ultrasounds and more

PET OF THE WEEK: Fern needs a playing buddy

Cat at Critteraid in Summerland searching for a forever home

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Leave our currency alone

The Bank of Canada is considering replacing Wilfrid Laurier on the five dollar bill

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Most Read