Silver King Roundup Day 9

The incident began on February 7.  Gather stats through February 15:

  • Horses captured: 251, up from 213 on Day 7
  • Goal: 283
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 3, same as Day 7
  • Shipped: 214, up from 173 on Day 7

No deaths occurred on Days 8 and 9.  The overall death rate is now 1.2%, down from 1.4% on Day 7.

No foals have been caught to date.  Roughly 47% of captured adults are male and 53% are female.

The operation has liberated 3,012 AUMs per year for other mandated uses in the HMA.

Body condition scores are not known.

The number of unaccounted-for animals is 34, down from 37 on Day 7.

Some of the mares will be treated with contraceptives and returned to the range, but no such activity has been reported.  The effect on pre-born foals is not known.

Data quality has been good.

RELATED: Silver King Roundup Day 7.

Silver King Roundup Day 7

The incident began on February 7.  Gather stats through February 13:

  • Horses captured: 213, up from 201 on Day 5
  • Goal: 283
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 3, up from 2 on Day 5
  • Shipped: 173, up from 85 on Day 5

Helicopters were grounded on Day 7 due to weather.

One horse was put down on Day 6 as a result of pre-existing conditions.  The overall death rate is now 1.4%, up from 1.0% on Day 5.

No foals have been caught to date.  Roughly 48% of captured adults are male and 52% are female.

Body condition scores are not known.

The number of unaccounted-for animals is 37, down from 114 on Day 5.

Some of the mares will be treated with contraceptives and returned to the range, but no such activity has been reported.  The effect on pre-born foals is not known.

Data quality has been good.

RELATED: Silver King Roundup Day 5.

Stocking Rates in ORPs

The Draft EA for resource enforcement actions in the Desatoya HMA says on page 61 (of the pdf) that off-range pastures are usually located in grass prairie regions of the United States, such as Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Forage production is higher than the arid rangelands of the western U.S., with an average stocking rate of ten acres per animal.  That’s 100 wild horses per thousand acres, compared to an average rate on all HMAs of one wild horse per thousand acres.

Those same pastures should be able to support 100 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres.

The carrying capacity of the land may be different.

Ideally, stocking rates should be less than carrying capacities, from a sustainability viewpoint, and carrying capacity may vary from year to year, depending on rainfall, soil conditions and other factors.

RELATED: Stocking Rates in the Great Basin.

Silver King Roundup Day 5

The incident began on February 7.  Gather stats through February 11:

  • Horses captured: 201, up from 162 on Day 3
  • Goal: 283
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 2, none reported through Day 4
  • Shipped: 85, up from 39 on Day 3

Two deaths occurred on Day 5 as a result of pre-existing conditions.  The overall death rate is now 1.0%.

No foals have been caught to date.  Roughly 47% of captured adults are male and 53% are female.

Body condition scores are not known.

The number of unaccounted-for animals is 114, down from 123 on Day 3.

Some of the mares will be returned to the range after treatment with contraceptives, but no such activity has been reported.  The effect on pre-born foals is not known.

Data quality has been good.

Gather activity will likely conclude this week.

RELATED: Silver King Roundup Day 3.

Stocking Rates in the Great Basin

A comment received yesterday on the forage supply and demand post said the government allows one cow per 20 acres but did not say where.

Most of the grazing discussion on Western Horse Watchers involves the Great Basin, characterized by a desert climate, because that’s where most of America’s wild horses are found.

The stocking rate in the comment, which works out to 50 cows per thousand acres, seems rather high for the Great Basin.  That’s equivalent to fifty wild horses per thousand acres—too high for year-round grazing in the high desert.

The highest stocking rate encountered on these pages is on the Virginia Range, ten wild horses per thousand acres.

Fractional stocking rates—less than one wild horse per thousand acres—are not uncommon in HMAs where large amounts of forage have been diverted to privately owned livestock.

The target stocking rate across all HMAs is one wild horse per thousand acres.

In an allotment, which is often divided into pastures, higher stocking rates may be allowed for shorter periods of time.  Pasture rotation prevents overgrazing, at least in theory.

But it doesn’t explain why so many allotments are in the Improve category.

RELATED: Assessing Stocking Rates, Allotment Categories Explained.

Eagle Roundup Day 35

The incident began on January 6.  Gather stats through February 9:

  • Horses captured: 1,004, up from 977 on Day 33
  • Goal: 1,131
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 27, up from 23 on Day 33
  • Shipped: 895, up from 848 on Day 33

One death occurred on Day 34 due to pre-existing conditions.  Three deaths occurred on Day 35, one related to the roundup and two as a result of pre-existing conditions.

The overall death rate is now 2.7%, up from 2.4% on Day 33.  Few if any deaths would occur if the roundup didn’t happen.

Two more foals were caught since the last report, bringing the total to three.  Roughly 45% of captured adults are male and 55% are female.  Some of the mares are probably within a few weeks of foaling.  Some may have foaled in the off-range corrals.

The gather page says 896 horses shipped.

Body condition scores are not known.

The location of current operations is not known.  Three HMAs are involved in the roundup.

The number of unaccounted-for animals is 82, down from 106 on Day 33.

Some of the mares will be treated with contraceptives and returned to the range but no such activity has been reported.  Some may receive GPS radio transmitters.

Gather activity will probably conclude this week.

RELATED: Eagle Roundup Day 33.

Silver King Roundup Day 3

The incident began on February 7.  Gather stats through February 9:

  • Horses captured: 162, up from 41 on Day 1
  • Goal: 283
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 0, no change from Day 1
  • Shipped: 39, up from 0 on Day 1

No foals have been caught to date.  Roughly 48% of captured adults are male and 52% are female.  Some of the mares are probably within a few weeks of foaling.

Body condition scores are not known.

The number of unaccounted-for animals is 123.

Some of the mares will be returned to their home range after receiving GonaCon, a contraceptive that may actually work like a sterilant.

Gather activity will likely conclude this week.

RELATED: Silver King Roundup in Progress.

Eagle Roundup Day 33

The incident began on January 6.  Gather stats through February 7:

  • Horses captured: 977, up from 883 on Day 31
  • Goal: 1,131
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 23, up from 22 on Day 31
  • Shipped: 848, up from 749 on Day 31

One death occurred on Day 32 due to pre-existing conditions.  The overall death rate is now 2.4%, down slightly from 2.5% on Day 31.

One foal has been caught to date.  Roughly 45% of captured adults are male and 55% are female.  Some of the mares are probably within a few weeks of foaling.  Some may have foaled in the off-range corrals.

The gather page says 849 horses shipped, which does not match the sum of the figures supplied therewith.

391 + 456 + 1 ≠ 849

Body condition scores are not known.

The location of current operations is not known.  Three HMAs are involved in the roundup.

The number of unaccounted-for animals is 106, down from 112 on Day 31.

Some of the mares will be treated with contraceptives and returned to the range but no such activity has been reported.  Some may receive GPS radio transmitters.

The roundup will likely conclude this week.

RELATED: Eagle Roundup Day 31.

Beneficiaries of Rock Springs RMP Amendments?

The Rock Springs Grazing Association has the largest share of the forage in the Rock Springs allotment, half of which is public land.  Refer to the Allotment Master report from RAS.  Authorization #4904655.

The Authorization Use report puts RSGA’s slice of the pie at 90%.  Scroll down to the middle of page two and look at the number of animals on the permit.

Keep in mind that five sheep have the same resource ‘footprint’ as one cow/calf pair.

RELATED: EIS for Rock Springs RMP Amendments Turns 1 Today.