I had the chance to visit my friend Edouard at Caw Ridge this summer. This beautiful alpine ridge is a popular destination for outdoor recreation not far from Grande Cache. It is also home to a long-term study on a large herd of mountain goats affectionately named ‘Goat Camp’.
For 20 years Steeve Côté has led this project out of Université Laval in Quebec. Each year students and technicians have worked dutifully to monitor the goats – trying to catch and tag them so they can study the demographics of the herd.
For me it was whirlwind of a working ‘holiday’ and right away I was slotted into the daily routine. This entails early wake ups on a rotation to check whether any of the weighing stations, baited with salt licks, have attracted goats. After breakfast, some maple syrup, and a quick game of stratego, we spent the rest of the day tracking the goats to make focal behavioral observations.
Edouard has spotted his favorite nanny goat!
You have to stay well hidden to avoid disturbing them
Written by Logan McLeod