Using Goats to Control Invasive Species

Published Dec 7, 2016

In a Nutshell

Goats are becoming a popular method of controlling unwanted vegetation and invasive species, such as honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Timber stands and savannahs need some sort of disturbance to keep invasive species from spreading in order for native species to flourish. Goats were allowed to browse a timber stand twice in 2015 and vegetation observations were conducted throughout 2015 and 2016.

Key findings

Goats did not adversely affect the herbaceous layer (understory) of a timber stand. Goats did not significantly affect the desirable woody species. By September 2016, areas where goats browsed in 2015 had significantly less non-desirable woody species. Successive years of browsing goats are likely needed to successfully eradicate invasive species.