Hero Goats: Ottawa Parks in Michigan hires goat herd to fight invasive species

Hero Goats: Ottawa Parks in Michigan hires goat herd to fight invasive species
September 12, 2016 GLNeditor

In the Great Lakes basin we’re battling a constant influx of invasive species that threaten the well being of our native flora and fauna. They throw our ecosystem out of whack, and can do tremendous environmental, financial and even direct physical harm. Innovate approaches to the fight against these species are needed. Biologist Melanie Manion, Natural Resources Management Supervisor for Ottawa County Parks in Western Michigan, was looking for solutions to the mounting invasive invasion in her region when she went to a conference and learned about the awe inspiring digestive powers of goats, and their love for woody plants in particular. Melanie was excited to get the goats started on some of the pesky plants growing like crazy in her parks; Oriental Bittersweet, Autumn Olive, Buckthorn, Honeysuckle and even Poison Ivy. With some determination, and a collaboration with a vocational program in the nearby school district, she was able to make invasive eating goats a reality in her home state. Meet Melanie, the goats, and learn more about the invasive species they are devouring in this video from the Great Lakes Bureau. Special thanks to our partner Science Around Michigan for introducing us to Melanie and company and joining us for our educational adventure!

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