Mountain goat kid in western Montana
© Donald M. Jones/Minden Picture
Dressed for winter fun
Native to North America, mountain goats live much of the year scaling peaks from southcentral Alaska down to the northern Rockies. They tend to live at high altitudes, often above 4,000 metres, where their sure-footed climbing ability allows them to clamber up extraordinarily steep, rocky slopes. In the winter, they'll migrate down to slightly lower elevations to seek shelter in subalpine forests with south-facing rocky ledges, where the sun and relentless winds keep ice to a minimum. Here, they forage for lichen, mosses, grasses, and other wintery greens. Their woolly, two-layered coats keep them toasty as temperatures dip, which is probably why even in the chill of western Montana this young mountain goat—or kid—appears to be having a ball. Enjoying winter is all about how you dress.