Diamond Complex (Nev.) update: 1,111 wild horses captured, 25 killed

/ In The News, News, Roundups
A contractor’s helicopter drives wild horses into the trap on the Diamond Complex on Sept. 15. BLM photo.

The Bureau of Land Management has captured 1,111 wild horses through Sunday, the 18th day of a helicopter roundup north of Eureka, Nev.

Twenty-five deaths have been reported on the Diamond Complex, all prior to Sept. 20. Of the deaths, BLM has classified three as “acute,” or as a result of the roundup, and 22 as being euthanized for “pre-existing / chronic” conditions.

So far, 459 mares, 451 studs, and 201 foals have been captured.

BLM’s goal is capture a total of 1,225 wild horses, removing 1,165. The agency plans to treat and release up to 30 mares with the safe, proven and humane fertility control vaccine PZP-22 along with an equal number of studs. 

About 300 wild horses will remain on the complex after the roundup, which is expected to last 20-25 days.

The stated purpose of the roundup is to “prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses and burros” and “protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, and mule deer.” The BLM also said in a press release that the roundup is also necessary because of “severe drought conditions throughout Central Nevada”

Prior to the roundup, the BLM estimated the total population of wild horses on the 258,000-acre Diamond Complex at 1,495 wild horses, not counting this year’s foals. The agency-set Appropriate Management Level for the complex is 123-210 wild horses, or as low as one horse for every 2,098 acres.

BLM has allocated up to 24,348 Animal Unit Months for privately owned livestock and sheep that graze on the Diamond Complex compared to 2,520 for wild horses. One Animal Unit Month, or AUM, is the enough forage for one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

The Diamond Complex is made up of both public and private lands. It includes the Diamond Herd Management Area, Diamond Hills North Herd Management Area and Diamond Hills South Herd Management Area.

Captured wild horses chosen for removal will be shipped to the Palomino Valley Off-Range Corrals, Reno, Nevada, to be prepared for adoption or sale.

Click here for BLM planning documents.

Viewing the roundup:

Those interested in viewing the roundup should call (775) 861-6700 to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time. Face masks and social distancing are required and those who participate must bring hand sanitizer. Those who are all or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the prior 14 days cannot attend.