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Science and Research

A worker preparing a vaccine

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve the Program

The BLM uses the latest science in its efforts to ensure that viable numbers of wild horses and burros can thrive on healthy public rangelands. 

For example, the BLM uses science to monitor such rangeland conditions as vegetation, soils, water, wildlife, and wildfire. The agency also has partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey to improve its annual census of wild horses and burros. With regard to overpopulation, the BLM is working to develop population growth suppression techniques to slow the reproduction rate of wild horses and burros on public lands. This effort includes the use of such drugs as Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP), a vaccine that is applied to mares.

The BLM also continually seeks to improve the program’s scientific foundation. In early 2011, the agency commissioned a study by the National Academy of Sciences that will review and evaluate previous wild horse management studies. The organization will then make recommendations to the BLM on how to use the latest scientific research. 


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