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Island Buffet: Goats Tackling Invasive Species on Chattanooga’s Maclellan Island

Goats eating vegetation.

Island Buffet: Goats Tackling Invasive Species on Chattanooga’s Maclellan Island

By HERE News

Chattanooga’s New, Unusual Conservation Soldiers

On the picturesque shores of the Tennessee River, a unique experiment is taking place. Half a dozen goats, courtesy of Circle N stables, have become unexpected conservation soldiers on Chattanooga’s Maclellan Island. These voracious eaters are providing a vital service – chomping down on invasive species that threaten the island’s native flora.

The Attack of the Invasive Species

The Chattanooga Audubon Society launched the goat project, grappling with a surge of invasive plant species choking out the native ecosystem. These invasive species include the likes of the flame-resistant Japanese Honeysuckle and Mungro grass, impervious to the recent controlled burn attempted by officials. Not to be deterred, the Audubon Society took a novel approach, enlisting the help of these plant-loving farm animals, hoping the goats’ healthy appetites could provide a solution.

A Natural Solution

Since the goats’ arrival on the island, the transformation is evident. “The very first time I ever came to the island it looked like a jungle,” says Christina Hendon from Circle N Stables, adding, “You couldn’t walk on the trail we’re standing on now. It was all overgrown.”

Vigil for the Goat-Troopers

The goats now have a large, secure enclosure, courtesy of a team of dedicated volunteers who cleared out part of the overgrown trail. Equipped with an electric fence and solar-powered security system, the grazing goats can now chomp away without fear of wandering off the island.

However, volunteers are in high demand to ensure the care of these unusual soldiers, involving clearing the electric fencing, feeding the goats and providing them with fresh water, and giving them some much-needed affection. “This is a timely process, hence why we need the volunteers and the people to come in and help us maintain and keep an eye on the goats, make sure everybody’s here and safe,” Hendon explains.

A Unique Island Experience

In the near future, this unique project will offer guided tours, courtesy of the Chattanooga River Boat Company in partnership with Circle N Stables and the Audubon Society. This will allow visitors not only to see the goats at work but also explore and learn more about the island and its remarkable endeavor to protect its local species.

Support the Initiative

In an engaging move, the public can participate in this conservation effort by sponsoring a goat and earning the right to name it. The raised funds will be used for the goats’ provisions and further protective measures on the island. For those interested in contributing to this unique project, the Chattanooga Audubon Society welcomes you to visit their website for more details.

These grazing goats in scenic Chattanooga are illustrating nature’s fascinating and interwoven interactions and teaching us that sometimes, unexpected solutions might just be wandering in our backyards.

HERE News Network | Wed, 19 Jun 2024 14:17:13 GMT (1718806633113)

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