Investigations of paleontological, archeological, and historical records have not found evidence that the mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) is native to Greater Yellowstone. During the 1990s, however, descendants of mountain goats introduced into Montana during the 1940s and 1950s colonized the northeast and northwest portions of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks via the Absaroka and Gallatin mountain ranges. Many people consider the goats a charismatic component of the ecosystem, including those who value the challenge of hunting them outside the parks. However, the colonization has raised concerns about adverse effects on alpine vegetation. Competition with high densities of mountain goats could also negatively affect native bighorn sheep, whose range overlaps with that of mountain goats.

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Updated 7/03/12