Ongoing Nevada drought prompts muster of wild horses in Little Fish Lake area

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Wild horses in Nevada.
Wild horses in Nevada. © BLM

Federal authorities in Nevada plan to gather wild horses in the 28,000-acre Little Fish Lake herd management area early next month which they say are threatened by a lack of forage.

The helicopter muster, scheduled for February 8, will target 150 wild horses in the area, which is about 70 miles northeast of Tonopah.

Fifty horses will be released back into the area, with all mares being treated with the birth control agent Porcine Zona Pellucidae (PZP-22).

About 100 horses will be taken to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse & Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California, where they will be prepared for adoption by the public.

About 100 horses will remain in the herd management area after the operation.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says drought conditions have persisted throughout Nevada since 2012, leading to pending emergency conditions in Nye County that seriously threaten the health and well-being of the wild horses.

“BLM has been monitoring drought and forage conditions within the herd management area,” the bureau’s Tonopah Field Office, within the Battle Mountain District, said in a statement.

“The US Drought Monitor shows the herd management area is in severe drought which, coupled with overutilization by wild horses, has left the HMA with limited available forage for the winter.”

Lack of vegetation and range impacts from overpopulation by wild horses was also affecting important habitat used by greater sage-grouse, the office said.

It said it intended to offer public viewing opportunities for the operation.

One thought on “Ongoing Nevada drought prompts muster of wild horses in Little Fish Lake area

  • January 15, 2015 at 5:41 am
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    What this article fails to mention is that the poor forage conditions are caused by the livestock grazing in this area, and that the cattle are not being removed. Since the cattle outnumber the wild horses by about 88 to 1 in many of the herd management areas, it would only seem reasonable to remove the cattle since they are responsible for the poor range conditions. The horses have managed to maintain healthy herds in these areas for hundreds of years, that is until the cattle were allowed an unfair advantage in grazing these areas and using up the available water supply. If you’ve seen pictures of the horses being rounded up by the BLM you will notice that the vast majority are in excellent condition. The wild horses are competing with the greed of welfare ranchers.

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