The culling of non-native mountain goats from Grand Teton National Park will begin today as part of a multi-year management plan to conserve a native and vulnerable population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Teton Range. Mountain goats are not native to the Teton range and can carry bacterial diseases that are lethal to bighorn sheep. The Teton Range bighorn sheep population has been relatively isolated and is therefore likely ‘naïve’ to these diseases. Without immediate intervention, the mountain goat population is expected to grow and could contribute to the potential elimination of the native bighorn sheep. Over 20 volunteer teams, consisting of a minimum of two individuals each and a maximum of six individuals per team, will participate this year. In the interest of safety and efficiency, the park is only drawing on qualified volunteers who were trained and participated in the program last year. There are significantly fewer mountain goats in the park, and removal will be significantly more difficult. The operational season will continue until October 25th, weather permitting.