DENVER (AP) – The National Park Service is drafting plans to remove or restrict Rocky Mountain goats from Dinosaur National Monument either by capture or lethal means.
Officials say the invasive goats have been spotted in and around the park in the past several years and that they pose a risk to sensitive plant and animal species.
“While native to the northern Rockies, mountain goats were purposefully introduced into previously unoccupied mountain ranges for hunting and general recreation,” the Park Service said.
The goats can spread pneumonia and Johne’s disease to other species, including bighorn sheep, deer, pronghorn and elk, officials said.
“Mountain goat dispersal and range expansion have created concerns for the National Park Service at Olympic, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National parks,” the release explained.
Federal officials are working with wildlife managers in Colorado and Utah, where the Dinosaur National Monument sits, on plans to remove the goats.
Comments on the removal can be submitted at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dinomtngoat or sent to Dinosaur National Monument, 4545 E. Highway 40, Dinosaur, CO 81610.
Comments are due by March 9, and the Park Service says it will help form plans to remove the goats.