U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Alamo Herd Management Area|
History: Wild burros in this area are descendants of burros abandoned by early prospectors, miners and local rangers. Having evolved in the deserts of North Africa, burros adapted well to Arizona’s desert environment and flourished in the relatively lush Sonoran Desert. Large and thriving herds of burros were soon seen as a threat to other species in times of drought. To reduce the threat, local ranchers were issued government furnished ammunition during the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s to shoot burros. This helped relieve over-utilization of stressed vegetation and the severe competition for scarce water.
A new water source was made available with the completion of Alamo Dam on the Bill Williams River in 1968. With a permanent water source, and protection through the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 1971, the herd began to grow once again.
Population: Left alone in this remote region with few natural predators, the wild burro population here flourished to more than 1,000 animals by the mid-1970s. The first wild burro capture effort by the BLM in Arizona took place near Alamo Lake. In 1977, and again in 1979, nearly 900 animals were removed from this HMA, lowering the population to about 200. Today, the burro population is estimated to be about 305.
Burros in this area are typically grey in color. During the hot summer months, the herd stays within two to three miles of water sources. When the weather cools, the burros tend to break up and scatter throughout the area.
Management: Wild burros living in the Alamo HMA are managed in an ecological balance within their habitat. This ensures there will be plenty of food and cover for the burros, as well as for other wildlife. The area must also be managed in a manner that continues to provide a quality riparian habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher. When vegetative monitoring studies show over-utilization of key plant species, some burros are relocated to other corral facilities. These burros then become available to the public through the BLM’s Adopt a Wild Horse or Burro Program.
Lake Havasu Field Office