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Ghosts of the Hills : Mountain Goats on Kodiak McCrea Cobb Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Brown Bag Lunch Series Oct. 20, 2011

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  • 1. Ghosts of the Hills: Mountain Goats on Kodiak McCrea Cobb Kodiak National Wildlife RefugeBrown Bag Lunch Series Oct. 20, 2011

2. Ghosts of the Hills 3. Presentation Outline Natural history andecology How goats ended upon Kodiak Research andmonitoring work 2011 Field Season Future research andmonitoring goalsB. Dunker 4. Mountain Goats Member of Caprinae Goat/antelopes Serow spp. Goral spp. Chamois spp. Only livingspecies in its genus 5. Natural History Distribution Western N.A. S. to Colorado N. to Alaska 80-120K goats ~58K in Canada ~12K in lower 48 ~30K in Alaska 6. Alaska DistributionADF&G 7. Life History Diet and Habitat Graze grasses, sedges,forbs, lichens, ferns,and moss. May browse shrubs andconifers during thewinter when otherforage is unavailable. Need escape terrain Especially important during kidding season. 8. Life History Home Ranges Generally small 300 ha females 1,200 ha males MovementsK. White ADF&G Daily to acquire food, rest, find a mate, thermoregulate, and avoid predators. Seasonal for nutritional and reproductive needs. Altitudinal migrationsK. White ADF&G 9. Annual Life Cycle Nannies give birth to 1kid (usually) in lateMay early June Rut in late Oct. earlyDec. Billies solo tosmall groups. Nannies/kids nursery groups 10. Nanny or Billy? 11. Quiz: Nanny or Billy? B N K 12. Nanny or Billy? NB 13. Nanny or Billy? ? NBNBN 14. Introductions to Kodiak SpeciesRelease DateRelease Site Current StatusSitka deer 1924, 1934Long & Kodiak Is.~60-80,000 (?)Roosevelt elk1929Afognak Is.~610 (2010)Moose1966, 1967Kodiak Is. XXReindeer 1924Alitak Bay ~320Dall sheep 1964, 1965Kodiak Is. XXBeaver 1929Kodiak & Raspberry Is. 30-50,000 (?)Muskrat1925Long Is. Chiniak areaMarten 1952Afognak Is.2-3,000 (?) (Paramanof)Mink 1952Kodiak Is. (Karluk)XXSnowshoe hare1934Kodiak & Afognak Is. 100,000 (??)Red squirrel 1952Afognak & Kodiak Is. 10-15,000 (?)Raccoonpre-1936 & 1980 Long & Kodiak Is.XXSpruce grouse1957, 1959Woody Is.XXVancouver Canada goose 1986Shuyak & Kodiak Is.~1,000 (?) 15. Goat Introductions Easier rugs or roastsshould be available and inmore places 1924, 18 goats introducedto Baranof Is. Federal Aid in WildlifeRestoration funding Experimented withnumerous methods tocapture Dogs feed pail traps Collapsible box trap Self-injecting syringe on an arrow Drop net from a helicopter 16. Goats to Kodiak Initial attemptswere unsuccessful. Private trappers $350-400/goat Dangerous work 18 goats capturedin 1952 and 1953. 17. 1952-1953 18. 1975-1984 19. 1984-1995 20. 1985-1994 21. 2004-2010 22. Population Growth2500 *Currently ~2,400 2,600 goats island-wide2000# Goats Counted150010005000 23. Population Growth 24. Management Concerns Mountain goats arean economicallyimportant gamespecies on Kodiak. Maintaining highharvests in important Rapid populationgrowth is a concern. Classic ungulateirruptive growthpattern Potential for long-lasting changes to thelandscape 25. Management Goal: Maintain a sustainable mountain goat populationthat:1) Meets agency harvest objectives.2) Does not detrimentally impact native flora and fauna. 26. Management Questions1. An estimate of the number of goats, with confidence intervals.2. An understanding of the effects of hunting and other limiting factors on changes in population size.3. An understanding of how big the population can get without causing damage to the landscape. 27. Information Needs1. An estimate of the1. How many goats are not number of goats, withbeing counted during confidence intervals.surveys.2. An understanding of 2. Rates and sources of the effects of hunting mortality and and other limiting reproductive rates. factors on changes in population size.3. An understanding of 3. Resource selection how big the population patterns can get without causing1. Diet damage to the2. Feeding Site Selection landscape. 3. Habitat Selection 28. Summer 2011 Pilot Field Study Goals:1. Quantify mountain goat diets.2. Determine feeding site selection. 29. Where? 3 study sites Hidden Basin/Terror Lake Uyak region Hepburn Pen. Selected based onduration of goatoccupancy. Visited each studysite twice betweenMay and Aug. 30. What did we do? Diet Collected freshpellets Sent to WSU Results by Feb 12 31. What did we do? Feeding Site Selection Transects at feedingsites and randomlocations 17 plots along transects Surveyed plant speciesdiversity andcomposition Will compare datafrom feeding sites torandom locations 32. Preliminary Results Surveyed 298 plots 5,066 plots! 161 unique plantspecies / habitats Most common plants: Long-awned sedge, patridgefoot, arctic daisy, black crowberry Distance to rockoutcroppingimportant, slope less. 33. Future Research Goals Cost-effectiveestimate ofpopulation size thatincludes confidenceinterval VHF radio collars Resource Selection GPS collars Survival &Reproduction Monitor collaredgoats 34. The Goat Crew