Feasibility of Decimating Wild Horse Herds with Contraceptives

Getting rid of wild horses with helicopters is bad, according to the advocates, but getting rid of them with contraceptives is good, so let’s take a closer look at the idea.

How long would it take to cut the size of a herd in half?

If the birth rate is zero, courtesy of the advocates, and the death rate is 5% per year, about fourteen years.

If the death rate is 10% per year, about seven years.

How long would it take to cut the herd by 80% (e.g., 500 to 100)?

Assuming the birth rate is zero and the death rate is 5% per year, 32 years.  If the death rate is 10% per year, about 16 years.

That means the advocates would have to dart the mares for at least 16 years to get the population down to AML?

No.  The mares would be sterile after five years, so they could walk away and ruin another herd.

There’s no point in discussing acreage, AMLs, stocking rates, resource allocations and genetic viability, because, under their plan, none of those things matter.

RELATED: Trajectory of Wild Horse Fertility Control Program.

Best Way to Decimate Heber Wild Horse Herd?

The double standard was on full display at the April 22 rally, as protesters marched from a park to the Black Mesa District Office.

You may get the impression from photos by the White Mountain Independent that the event was co-opted by the PZP zealots but it was organized by them.

Instead of tearing families apart in roundups, it’s better to not have them.  No natural breeding patterns, no turning over of the genetic soil.

The problem is not enough land and too many livestock but nobody’s talking about that.

RELATED: Forest Service to Decimate Heber Wild Horse Herd?

ISPMB Building Heritage Center?

A statement issued today said the new facility will offer family-friendly mustang safari tours and luxury accommodations for guests wishing to stay overnight.

The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, established by Velma Johnston, gave up most of its horses in 2016 when a whistleblower revealed conditions at the ranch.  Approximately 900 animals were placed into private hands the following year through an adoption program.

The sanctuary took in horses from White Sands, New Mexico, Gila Bend, Arizona, the Virginia Range and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, both in Nevada.

‘Think Like a Horse’ Loses One of Its Stars

A video posted yesterday tells the story.  He was born and captured in Nevada.

The YouTube channel, started in 2009, has quite a following.

In late 2011, when I was new to horses, I saw an ad in a magazine that said ‘think like a horse.’  Made sense so I searched the web, landed there and never went anywhere else.

As of today, the loss is not mentioned on the Think Like a Horse web site.

Amend WHB Act So Wild Horses Can Be Relocated?

Why would you want to do that?

So they can be moved from places where they’re not wanted.

Not wanted by whom?  Most Americans want these animals protected.

Ranchers.

Where to?

Remote wilderness areas not particularly suited to livestock grazing.

Can you corroborate that?

Refer to this opinion piece dated April 30 in the Pagosa Daily Post and this column in the Ag Information Network.

Why can’t the horses be moved?

It’s not allowed per Section 1339 of the statute.

Would they be safe in their new homes?

Probably not.  The writers speak for the ranchers, not the horses.

RELATED: Final Solution to America’s Wild Horse ‘Problem?’

Cost of Horse Food Rising

Here are the prices at the local feed store as of May 1:

  • Alfalfa-grass hay, $19 per bale if you buy 20 or more (add $1 if not)
  • Equine Senior, $27 per 50-pound bag
  • Rice bran pellets, $19 per 50-pound bag (discount for 5 or more dropped)
  • Oat hay pellets, $19 per 50-pound bag
  • Alfalfa hay pellets, $18 per 50-pound bag
  • Layena Crumbles, $21 per 50-pound bag (for chickens)
  • Salt with minerals, $11 per 50-pound block

The drive-out price was $673, including $55 for our precious government.

If you deduct the chicken feed and two salt blocks, the total still exceeds $600, putting the cost of feeding six horses for one month at approximately $105 per AUM.

RELATED: Grain Tank Refilled.

Satellite Calibration Activities Near Pancake HMA?

A notice in the Federal Register dated April 29 segregates approximately 23,000 acres from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including mining, mineral leasing and geothermal leasing for a period of two years, pending an Environmental Assessment that will analyze the effects of a proposal by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The project area is in the Railroad Valley, 80 miles northeast of Tonopah, NV, according to a BLM news release posted yesterday.

The announcement did not explain ‘satellite calibration.’

The area of interest is on the south side of Highway 6, based on the townships and ranges given in the Federal Register and a map in the BLM Land Records search tool.

The grid lines mark off parcels of approximately 36 square miles.  Hover over each one in the BLM map to see its coordinates.

The withdrawal would include a portion of the land in the two parcels.

NASA Satellite Calibration Facility 05-01-21

The news release did not say if the area would be off limits to wild horses and livestock.

Calibration usually involves the measurement of known quantities, called ‘standards,’ followed by adjustment of the instrument to bring the measured values in line with the known values.

Wyoming Governor Endorses Roundup Before It’s Approved

The comment period closed today.  Public concerns have not been addressed and a decision has been not been reached.  But apparently it’s a done deal.

The governor wants a solution that balances multiple uses, including forage for livestock and habitat for wildlife, according to a report in today’s edition of Sweetwater Now.

A pest control program for wild horses would meet the requirement—and satisfy the special interests that influenced or drafted the governor’s letter.

RELATED: Conflating Rock Springs RMP Amendments and Gather Plan?

Thriving Ecological Balance-3

Not All Range Improvements Built by Ranchers

Wild horses have a keen nose for water, which includes sources underground, according to a report published yesterday by National Geographic.  Water holes created by the horses also benefit wildlife.

The story refers to them as an introduced species, suggesting that they’re not supposed to be there, but reintroduced might be a better choice.

A Wikipedia article about the Banker Horses provides another example.

Is the behavior limited to the wild?

This hole was dug by adopted horses in their corral.  Water is added manually for them to play in and curb their interest in digging further.

Water Hole in Corral 04-30-21

Herds That Manage Themselves

Wild horses, like other animals, take their cues from their environment.  If a herd is to regulate its own size, it needs a feedback loop that compares the current state of affairs to the desired state of affairs.  The larger the gap, the greater the effort to close it.

Some observers have noted that roundups increase reproduction, which makes sense in view of the feedback model.  The gap has increased and nature says ‘Fill your niche!’

If you drive a car, you’re already familiar with feedback loops.

The speedometer shows the current state.  You compare that to the desired state—the speed limit—and act accordingly.  If you’re merging onto a freeway, the gap is large so you ‘put the pedal to the metal.’

Now, suppose you step on the gas but nothing happens.  Worse, suppose you hit the gas and the car slows down.

That’s what PZP does to the feedback loop.

A roundup tells the herd to hit the gas while the advocates are stepping on the brakes.

The helicopters and darts are flying not because the carrying capacity of the land has been exceeded but because the resource allocations have been violated.  The horses are never allowed to seek their level.

RELATED: Wild Horses Living in Balance with Their Environment?

Pancake Gather Plan

Wild Horses Living in Balance with Their Environment?

A letter to The Nevada Independent suggests that wild horse herds will not grow beyond the capacity of their environment, so there is no need for sterilization, fertility control and other ‘solutions’ proposed by the government.

The idea is that growth rates taper off when the herds have filled their ecological niches.

What would trigger the change in behavior?

Would the horses sense that the limit has been reached when their habitat is dominated by livestock or would they make the determination based on their own kind?