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BLM begins emergency wild horse gather

BLM begins emergency wild horse gather

Photo credit: goHUNT's Head of Research, Brandon Evans

Over the next two weeks, the Bureau of Land Management Southern Nevada District (BLM) plans to gather approximately 125 wild horses from the Nevada Wild Horse Range Herd Management Area (HMA). While controversial, the move is a result of the herd’s “declining health associated with herd overpopulation” and a “lack of water,” Pahrump Valley Times reports.

The roundup began on Tuesday, July 28 in the targeted HMA is in Nye County, Nevada. Another roundup started concurrently on the Montezuma Peak HMA in Esmeralda County. To gather the horses, BLM is using “temporary water and/or bait traps” that will corral the animals into enclosures with water and hay. 

There is no plan to use helicopters to gather the horses.

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According to the Pahrump Valley Times, both HMAs are well over the sustainable objective. The Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA, which includes over 1.3 million acres of public lands, can sustain about 300 to 500 wild horses; there is currently an estimated population of 801 horses that “does not include additional foals born this year.” Because this HMA is completely inside the Nevada Test and Training Range, only “essential gather operations personnel” are allowed to be in the area during the gather.

Within the Montezuma Peak HMA, officials hope to gather 50 wild horses and 25 burros. The current objective for this HMA, which is nine miles wide and 21 miles long, is four wild horses and 10 burros. As of March 1, the latest estimated count was 130 wild horses and 207 wild burros – not including any foals born this year. 

“The BLM is committed to conducting safe and humane emergency gather operations as we work to save animal lives by reducing overpopulation and bringing herd size more in line with what the resources of the area can support,” said Ian Glander, Southern Nevada District acting district manager.

Gathered wild horses and burros will be relocated to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California, according to the Pahrump Valley Times. Upon a clean veterinarian exam, animals will be “readied” for the BLM wild horse and burro adoption and sale program.

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