Southern Continental Divide Goat Survey (Waterton Lakes National Park to Crowsnest Pass) July 2008
ACA and ASRD, Fish and Wildlife
An aerial survey to monitor the status of the Southern Continental Divide mountain goat population was conducted on June 30th (Waterton), and July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2008. Survey objectives included the collection of distribution, herd composition and total numbers. All mountain complexes associated with the Continental Divide from Waterton Lakes National Park to the Crowsnest Pass received detailed aerial coverage during the survey. The survey area is the southern portion of Goat Management Area (GMA)– A including Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 400 in Alberta.
A total of 218 mountain goats (93 adults, 54 unclassified goats, 46 kids and 25 yearlings) were observed within the hunted populations. Kid and yearling ratios per 100 adults were 31 and 17 respectively. One hundred twenty goats were observed on the Alberta side of the Continental Divide while 98 goats were observed in British Columbia. Two hundred eighteen goats represent an 11 percent increase in the estimated population (based on total goats observed during survey) compared to 2007 when 193 goats were recorded.
A coordinated survey with Waterton Lakes National Park was also completed this year with Parks Canada staff participating in the project. An all time high of 106 goats (48 adults, 19 unclassified individuals, 21 kids and 18 yearlings) were observed during the Waterton Park goat survey.