C.R. MacDonald’s SUMMARY REPORT on America’s Mustangs and Burros

SUMMARY REPORT: America’s Mustangs & Burros. What’s Left, The High Cost of Miscalculating, And Will They Survive? Revised 2009. By C.R. MacDonald

Read more reports and postings on the American Herds blog: http://americanherds.blogspot.com/


8 Responses to “C.R. MacDonald’s SUMMARY REPORT on America’s Mustangs and Burros”

  1. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    What I think I have found is there are only 15,000+ wild horse and burros left?
    This is long and yet well set up but still a lot to take in. I do appreciate the time this must have taken. Thanks, C.R. MacDonald, I hope that this will be of great use in the fight. Mar

  2. Nora Morbeck Says:

    Well, if I read this correctly. it looks as if there is a 20% yearly increase in population –and the decrease is only due to BLM removals.

    So, what … horses never die? Does the BLM not take mortality rates into account?

    Am I missing something?

  3. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    I think this is their way of seeing it and C.R. is showing us further on that it is off A Lot to take in…. I am not sure if anyone can simplify this, it would help, of course, for quicker digestion. No criticism meant.. mar

  4. Margaret Says:

    I’m sorry I couldn’t read the whole thing–because I’m having back issues right now and sitting is painful at best.

    But here are my thoughts. The BLM for the past several years that I know of have been using PZP more and more without thought to reproduction and other factors that contribute to a hores demise. They make up rules without thought to an HMA. Here’s an example of what I mean. Saying that you have to dart 20% of the mares no matter which area they are in may well do in a herd. What happens if like on the Pryors in 2003/4 when all the foals died–and all the mares are darted. Well not only have you done in any new foals–they did dart immature fillies possibly sterilizing them for life. They never should have continued darting horses there until numbers actually started going back up. Also on the Pryors at the same time–mountain lions were taking large number of animals. The BLM in an attempt to be allowed to continue using PZP started paying bounties on mountain lions. What an incredibly dumb thing to do. You have a natual predator to the animals that in this case would do the work for population control without any interference of man.

    I believe what the problem may be is this: they use stats. The problem is that stats don’t always tell the truth. Just like in sports–stats don’t tell the real story. There is no column for a top defensive player–like a #1 in basketball. You have rebounds but #1 player (I’m talking about the position) doesn’t always do things that reflect on the stats page. You can also use the idea that grades don’t always tell the truth. I flunked Spanish several years ago. I know lots of words but couldn’t speak at all. My instructor flunked me. No credit for what I did know.

    What they need to do is this: Get folks that WANT to be on the ground. No inflating numbers. Tell the truth, the good, the bad and the ugly. Did a particular HMA lose a large number of babies to cold brutal winter weather or predation? If so, I think while its incredibly sad–people would be far more witlling to accept that than zapping mares willy nilly because someone said we have to do it this way.

    And if government employees don’t want to be out there in the hot sun–they can always quit. I’m sure that there jobs can be filled by others with an interest to help. No more free rides. No more free medical insurance because you’re an employee not doing your job.

    If each HMA would gather REAL FACTS, herd numbers, foals born, predation, weather issues and such–then the public and the BLM would have reason to work together. Not just blather numbers.

    For instance this idea that the horses double in numbers every four years–where does this number come from? Do the horses in “prison” already–do the contribute to this number? And when Ginger tells us that all the foals in 2003/4 died that winter–how can that particular HMA have an increase in number of foals born that year? If they using countrywide stats–this is NOT the correct way of managing this.

    You have to go case by case and HMA by HMA. At least this is the way I see it and I don’t have management skillls.

    • Laura Evans Says:

      I was having a similar thought. I’m sure there are people who would spend the time on the ground and get to know each of the herds personally. The Pryors, instead of messing with them should be a blueprint as to how to do that. They’ve been well studied and well documented, thank you, Ginger. It’s a small herd with room to grow and on the pryor mustang blog he says he knows exactly how many horses there are in the herd +/- 6 and he’s been pretty accurate. He was able to tell the BLM which horses they had and which ones were still out there. Not that I want to see them experimented with but to be allowed to do what they will with only nature to stop them. Then as each herd was studied you would know what variations would need to be made to the humane management plan.

    • kas0859ohio Says:

      I agree, each HMA should be handled case by case. There are 201 HMAs throughout the western states. The BLM has offices in each of these states/areas. It seems to me if the WH&B program was separate from the land management portion of the bureau- actual counting could be done. Perhaps the smaller herds would only have to be counted every few years? Some of the USFS herds (supposedly) only have a few horses. I’m still researching the BLM HMAs. Wild horse counting eco-tours counting horses from horseback, would promote the eco-tourism they are hoping for.

  5. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    You all know that the management can and should change to pro wild horse in the environment. What has been done has created misery and death. We would have enlightenment and freedom for the wild ones. What a wonderful difference that could make. Keep looking ahead, it is there. The more of us can see to new ways the more strength we have to get there. Wildlife status would be grand, too. National Treasures, also.

    Christine J. has a proposal for National Treasure Status and Craig has said “Yes, they are National Treasures!” I will get it up here unless someone else will.. Mar

    • Laura Evans Says:

      I think they need to be removed from the livestock category. Maybe once upon a time your horse was just a work animal but now they’re pets and companions more often than anything else. That could change alot of things regarding their wild status and also some city ordinances that won’t let you have livestock but may let you have a horse. In my town you can have a horse but you can’t have a cow or a goat.

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