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BLM to Gather Wild Horses from the Desatoya Mountains

 

Carson City, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office has issued the Decision Record (DR) for the Wild Horse Gather portion of the Desatoya Mountains Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project. The BLM will gather approximately 450-525 wild horses. As many as 127 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather.  The gather area is located approximately 70 miles east of Fallon, Nev. within Churchill and Lander counties. The gather is scheduled for mid-August. 

A population inventory conducted in July 2011 documented 543 wild horses within and 14 wild horses outside of the Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA).  It is projected that 651 horses would be in the population at the time of the gather. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the HMA is 127-180 wild horses.  Based on the inventory, and monitoring data showing impacts from an over-population of the HMA, BLM has determined that removal of the excess wild horses is necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance.

Of the approximate 127 wild horses released back to the range, an estimated 51 mares will receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment prior to release. This vaccine will extend the time between gathers, and reduce the number of excess wild horses that would need to be removed in the future.  The sex ratio of the released animals will be dependent on the sex ratio of the gathered wild horses. Approximately 65% or more of all released wild horses would likely be stallions to achieve a 60% male sex ratio within the HMA (including animals not gathered).

Following the initial helicopter gather, the BLM intends to use continuous annual bait/water trapping over the next 10 years in order to administer the fertility control vaccine and remove small numbers of excess wild horses in order to achieve and/or maintain the AML range and sex ratio.      

Objectives of the project include continual removal of excess wild horses, improvement, protection, and maintenance of water sources, and maintenance and improvement of sage-grouse habitat. This project will help to meet these and BLM’s National Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy objectives.

 

Links to the EA and related documents are located on the BLM website at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/carson_city_field/blm_information/nepa.html.

For further information please contact John Axtell at 775-885-6146.

-BLM-

 

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