Meet the Goats

Meet the goats that help us rid the sanctuary of invasive plant species. 

Over many decades, invasive species of plants unsuitable for native wildlife have begun to replace or severely reduce native vegetation at Owl’s HIll and also in many areas across the state.  Habitat degradation is causing healthy habitat for many wild creatures to disappear.  In 2011, Owl’s Hill adopted a plan set up by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to restore wildlife habitats.  This plan was adopted with the intent to use as little herbicide as possible.  Goats for a Healthier Wildlife Habitat is a project that we began last year to help us in our mission of restoring native habitats.  Check out this short video about our goats:

Video produced by Brian Wilson Videography + Editing

Using goats is an ecofriendly, green and sustainable approach to ridding areas of unwanted vegetation without the use or with less use of poisons. Native grasses and wildflowers have developed over time to be grazed by animals; many of the nonnative invasive plants have not. By timing the movement of the animals, the flower and seed cycle of the invasive plants can be interrupted.  In a prescribed grazing system, endorsed by US Fish & Wildlife, the aim is to manage the livestock to benefit the land.  The herd is moved, mimicking the old natural systems of wild animals on the land for short duration over large areas instead of traditional domesticated grazing which was often season-long and sedentary.

Visit the Research page to find out more about this project.