The Bureau of Land Management captured 12 wild horses on Monday, the first day of a planned 2,200-horse helicopter roundup on the Antelope Complex, located about 50 miles southeast of Elko, Nev. No injuries were reported among the seven stallions, three mares and two foals.
The agency’s plan does not include treating mares with safe, proven and humane fertility control, strongly supported by RTF, which could slow reproduction and halt future roundups.
BLM’s stated purpose for the roundup is to “prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses … By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the BLM aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk.”
The BLM also says that there is not enough water for the number of wild horses on the complex.
Made up of the Goshute, Spruce-Pequop, Antelope Valley and Antelope Herd Management Area, the Antelope Complex encompasses 1.6 million acres of public land. The agency estimates that the current wild horse population is 6,032, not including foals.
The combined agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of the complex is 435-789 wild horses, or as low as one horse per 3,697 acres.