Mountain goats have been among the least studied of North American ungulates, leaving wildlife managers with little information on which to base harvest strategies or conservation plans. This book offers the first comprehensive assessment of the ecology and behavior of mountain goats, setting forth the results of a remarkable 16-year longitudinal study of more than 300 marked individuals in a population in Alberta, Canada. The authors’ thorough, long-term study allowed them to draw important conclusions about mountain goat ecology—including individual reproductive strategies, population dynamics, and sensitivity to human disturbance—and to use those conclusions in offering guidance for developing effective conservation strategies. Chapters examine: -habitat use, vegetation quality, and seasonal movements -sexual segregation and social organization -individual variability in yearly and lifetime reproductive success of females -age- and sex-specific survival and dispersal -reproductive strategies and population dynamics -management and conservation of mountain goats The book also draws on the rich literature on long-term monitoring of marked ungulates to explore similarities and differences between mountain goats and other species, particularly bighorn sheep and ibex. By monitoring a marked population over a long period of time, researchers were able to document changes in sex-age structure and identify factors driving population dynamics. Because it explores the links between individual life-history strategy and population dynamics in a natural setting, Mountain Goats will be an invaluable resource for wildlife managers, researchers in ecology and animal behavior, conservationists, population biologists, and anyone concerned with the ecology and management of natural populations, especially in alpine environments.
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