BLM prepares for emergency action to save drought-stricken wild horses and burros on public lands
Photo credit: BLM
August 3, 2021 – The Bureau of Land Management on Monday announced plans to take emergency action to save endangered animals and prevent widespread thirst and death in herds of wild horses and burro as drought subsides intensifies in most Western countries.
The BLM estimates that more than 6,000 additional wild horses and burros should be recovered from public lands by the end of September through emergency actions, which can be taken in response to the lack of water or fodder, or due to the impacts of a forest fire or disease. Already this year, nearly 1,200 animals have been brought together thanks to emergency actions.
Most emergency gatherings will take place in herds where chronic overpopulation has already depleted the food and water available to its limits. Today faced with exceptional drought conditions, these animals find themselves with very little water or fodder to survive summer and winter, and some have become dependent on unreliable private sources. In some herds, the BLM has already started transporting additional water on a temporary basis before an emergency rally can take place.
“As one of the agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting and managing American wild horses and burros, the BLM stands ready to take emergency action where we can to save the lives of these animals. darlings, ”said Nada Wolff Culver, BLM deputy. Director, Policy and Programs. “At the same time, we are committed to continuing our efforts to reduce overpopulation in the West and achieve healthy and sustainable herd sizes that are more able to withstand severe conditions, including prolonged drought, which are becoming larger. frequent due to climate change. “
The estimated wild horse and burros population on public lands managed by BLM declined for the first time since 2012 last year, from a record high of around 95,000 animals to 86,000 animals as of March 1, 2021. The estimated population is still more than three times what it is. is sustainable and healthy for the earth and animals. Overpopulation of the herd threatens the welfare of wild horses and burros (especially during drought) and the long-term health of the land and other species that share public lands.
Wild horses and donkeys harvested as part of these emergency actions will be checked by a veterinarian, vaccinated against common equine diseases and made available to the public for adoption. BLM is taking additional steps to ensure the health and safety of Wild Horses and Burros adopted through the Wild Horse and Burros Adoption Incentive Program. Unadopted animals will eventually be transferred to private pastures where they will live their lives in a free environment, but at the cost of taxpayers.
“I encourage anyone who is capable of caring for any of these living legends to consider giving them a loving home,” Culver added. “They are amazing animals that deserve a chance to thrive with a caring adopter.”
To account for expected emergency actions, the BLM has released a new tentative schedule for wild horse and burros gatherings through the end of fiscal 2021, which can be viewed here. For a list of wild horse and burros adoption opportunities, visit the Adoption Events Calendar.