Article By Craig Downer courtesy of Horseback Magazine
Cattle Invasion of Wild Horse Lands
October 19, 2011
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Wild Horse advocate and acclaimed Nevada naturalists Craig Downer issued a note of concern Tuesday about a wild horse “gather” being conducted by the federal Bureau of Land Management.
“I was just up at the Bitner and Nut Mtn. HMA wild horse helicopter roundups on Saturday and Sunday” Downer said. “It is a shame to see these wonderful and healthy wild horses captured and removed. There are hordes of livestock here and they greatly outnumber and out consume the wild horses,” he said. “The grazing season for them is from beginning of May to the end of September, and there appears to be a considerable trespass problem from my observations and reports of locals and visitors to the area.”
The problem appears to be cattle competing for the horses’ forage and water.
“Of the app. 100 horses we saw gathered there were very few young of the year, foals or young colts or fillies, which indicates either that they dropped out before the final capture and perished in the desert, or the mares are simply not producing hardly any offspring. This could be on account of PZP treatment or high predation or poor survival due to weather, disease, etc.”
“One thing is certain, the wild horses here are being gutted and many of these animals are headed for a cruel life and or slaughter,” Downer said.
“These animals are being victimized and the livestock and big game hunters as well as Ruby pipeline and energy extractors are being given carte blanche!”
Craig C. Downer is a Wildlife Ecologist and author. www.andeantapirfund.com, also dedicated to saving wild horses and burros in the wild