Goal of Gather: relocate 50 wild horses threatened by severe drought from the Seaman Herd Area (HA) to off-range pastures and facilities.
Details of the Gather:
The BLM will utilize the services of a gather contractor, which uses a helicopter to locate and herd wild horses toward a set of corrals. The pilot is assisted by a ground crew and a domesticated horse that is trained to guide the horses into the corral. The use of helicopters has proven to be a safe, effective and practical means by which to gather excess wild horses with minimal anxiety or hardship on the animals, and is authorized by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Although the BLM had considered alternative methods of trapping, veterinarians have advised that due to their rapidly declining health, there is not enough time to individually trap the 50 horses. Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility in Delta, Utah.
During the gather it is anticipated that as an act of mercy, some animals with a poor prognosis for survival may need to be humanely euthanized to end their suffering. Without these actions, it is highly likely that more animals, particularly wet mares and foals, would suffer over time and die if left on the range.
For BLM news releases and statements issued about this gather, check our Newsroom.
Worsening drought conditions in eastern Nevada have resulted in emergency conditions within the Seaman HA that seriously threaten the health and well-being of these wild horses. Although some rainfall has occurred, the moisture has been insufficient to break the drought, which has left extremely limited amounts of water and forage in the area.
Henneke body condition scores (BCS) of wild horses within the Seaman HA range from poor (BCS 1.5) to moderately thin (BCS 4). Wild horses with a BCS of 2 or less are at risk of death if they remain on the range, given the current drought conditions. The BLM estimates that about one third of the horses need to be urgently removed from the area.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email email@example.com.