Donna lives in Bozeman, Montana. She works for a regional nonprofit that engages in youth development and conservation service work. She spends much of her free time wandering in and photographing the wild world.
Donna can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 11461
Bozeman, MT 59719
Mountain goat billy traversing the rocks south of Beartooth Pass, off the Beartooth Scenic Highway National Scenic Byways All American Road.
Despite its name, the mountain goat is actually a member of the antelope family. It has a long face, long black horns and a short tail. Both males and females have beard-like hair on their chins. The mountain goat sports a coat of wooly, white fur that keeps it warm at high elevations. This coat has a double layer for added warmth during winter—the overcoat molts, or falls off, during summer time.
Known for their agility, mountain goats are most often seen scaling steep, rocky ledges. This extreme alpine environment provides them with adequate protection from predators. Strong muscular forequarters and pliable hooves with soft rubbery pads help them maintain traction on craggy rock surfaces and survive in harsh conditions.
Mountain goats are active both during the day and night, but take time to rest under overhanging cliffs. They mostly live in herds and move around according to season. In the summer, smaller groups will travel to salt licks. Females, called nannies, spend most of the year in herds with their kids, while males either live alone or with 2 - 3 other males. Nannies can be protective of their territory and food, and so will fight other nannies in their herds. During mating season, males will fight each other using their horns for the right to mate with females.
Pronghorn at Upper Sunshine Reservoir, west of Meeteetse, Wyoming.