Altogether, 151 wild horses (66 studs, 64 mares and 21 mixed weanlings/yearlings) were captured during helicopter drive trapping that began on Jan. 30, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
On Friday, 38 studs were released along with 30 mares treated with fertility control vaccine.
Two wild horses were euthanized during the roundup, including a 20-year-old sorrel stud on Friday. A veterinarian determined that euthanasia was the most humane course of action after the discovery that an old foot injury had caused a lateral deviation of the horse’s lower limb and a hoof deformity, according to the gather report.
The remaining wild horses taken from the Horse Management Area 50 miles east of Tonopah, Nevada, will be put up for adoption, according to BLM.
A portion of the Reveille HMA is subject to a 1987 court order and 2001 and 2001 Interior Board of Land Appeals orders requiring BLM to conduct an annual population count. If the count exceeds BLM’s Appropriate Management Level (set at 138 wild horses in 2001), the agency has 120 days to begin a roundup to removed “excess” wild horses, beginning with wild horses outside of the HMA’s boundaries.
The Tonopah Resource Management Plan allows BLM to reduce the wild horse population to a level that will accommodate up to three years of population growth before again reaching Appropriate Management Level.
The goal for the upcoming roundup: reduce the population to 91 wild horses. The current population is estimated at 173 wild horses, based on an inventory flight in February 2016 and an annual estimated growth rate of 15 to 20%, according to BLM.