Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Birds vs. wild horses

What do you do when wild horses degrade habitat that's shrinking and necessary for Greater Sage-Grouse and migratory birds? That's the challenge faced by Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Nevada.

Contrary to popular belief, wild horses are not in danger of extinction: Herds increase at the rate of about 20 percent a year. Roughly 33,700 wild horses occupy 31.9 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management. BLM also cares for another 35,000 wild horses in short-term corrals and long-term pastures at a cost of tens of millions of dollars per year.
See how the refuge staff propose to solve the problem.

Photo courtesy of Gail Collins/USFWS

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4 Comments:

Blogger tai haku said...

should this discussion not refer to "feral horses" as opposed to "wild horses"?

August 03, 2010 9:19 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

That's a good question to pose to the refuge staff.

August 03, 2010 10:52 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

All feral horses should be removed from all public lands. It galls me to no end that money I pay in taxes is used to support invasive exotic species.

August 03, 2010 2:07 PM  
Blogger metaspencer said...

There was a similar problem at Monomoy National Wildlife refuge in the late '90s -- only it was gulls that were seen as degrading the habitats of terns and plover. The solution? Kill the gulls. I guess that only went down because gulls are commonly perceived as a nuisance ... wild horses have a different rep.

August 11, 2010 2:55 PM  

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