The Bureau of Land Management on Friday announced that it conduct an “emergency” bait-and-trap roundup of wild horses on the Red Rock Herd Management Area due to a lack of water.
Beginning on or around Sunday, the agency will use water as a lure to capture and remove about 225 “excess” wild horses from the 162,000-acre Herd Management Area, located about 20 miles west of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert.
“The purpose of the gather is to help as many horses as possible while protecting the habitat for other wildlife, including water sources and vegetation,” the BLM writes in a press release. “Without emergency action, the condition of the wild horses in the Red Rock HMA is expected to deteriorate, potentially resulting in the death of horses within a few weeks.”
The BLM says it’s been transporting water onto the HMA leading up to the roundup and posted photos of horses drinking from a trough near a dried-up spring. Temperatures in nearby Las Vegas are forecasted to reach 107-110 degrees over the next four days.
The “Appropriate Management Level” for Red Rock has been set at 16-27 wild horses, or as low as one horse for every 10,125 acres, and 29-49 burros.
Captured wild horses are to be transported to Ridgecrest Holding Corrals located in Ridgecrest, Calif., where they will be prepared for the BLM’s adoption program.