Goal of Roundup:
The BLM is planning on gathering an estimated 262 wild horses from the Swasey HMA with up to 100 being released back onto the range following the gather. Approximately 49 mares will be treated with the fertility control drug Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22); the remainder of the released horses will be studs. Approximately 162 excess wild horses, including wild horses gathered that are residing outside the HMA boundary, will be removed. Animals removed from the Swasey HMA will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Details of the Roundup:
Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations once they begin, so long as the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted. During the gather, interested public may participate in an escorted tour by meeting at the Hart’s Food and Gas at 76 North Highway 6 in Delta, Utah ready to leave at 6:00 a.m. sharp. The dates and departure times are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. The public is strongly encouraged to check the gather hotline nightly 435-743-3124 for changes in schedule. Participants must provide their own transportation, water and lunches. The BLM recommends that the public dress for harsh field conditions. Binoculars as well as four wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended.
For BLM news releases and statements issued about the Swasey Gather, check our Newsroom.
The Swasey HMA comprises about 120,113 acres of public and other land. The HMA is located in Juab and Millard Counties, about 50 miles west from Delta, Utah.
The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for wild horses within the HMA is 60-100. The AML was established in the October/1987 House Range Resource Area RMP/ROD following an in-depth analysis of habitat suitability and resource monitoring and population inventory data, with public involvement. The AML upper limit is the maximum number of wild horses that can graze in a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on the public lands in the area. Establishing AML as a population range allows for the periodic removal of excess animals (to the low range) and subsequent population growth (to the high range) between removals.
The current estimated population of wild horses is 350. This number is based on an aerial survey direct count population inventory (conducted 2011), adjusting the number 20% to account for horses missed due to terrain and cover and for marker horses not seen, and includes the addition of the 2012 foal crops. Wild horse numbers have increased an average of 18 % per year since the HMA was last gathered. The current population is about 5 times over the AML lower limit.
The HMA was last gathered in July, 2007. At that time, 155 wild horses were gathered and removed from the HMA. Post-gather, an estimated 95 wild horses with a sex ratio of 60/40% males/females remained within the HMA.
Based upon all information available at this time, the BLM has determined that 250 excess wild horses exist within the HMA and need to be removed.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.