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2017 Reveille Wild Horse Gather

This gather was completed on Febuary 3, 2017Wild Horse and Burro Logo

Purpose of the Gather:

The Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office is planning a wild horse gather within and outside of the Reveille Herd Management Area. The goal of the project is to gather approximately 140-160 horses from the Reveille HMA and surrounding areas in the Reveille Allotment. Approximately 80 excess wild horses will be removed and 60-80 horses would be returned to the HMA. Fertility control and/or sex ratio adjustment would be applied to the released animals in order to slow population growth rates and assist in maintain wild horse population levels below the established appropriate management level (AML). The post gather population goal is approximately 93 wild horses, which will allow for at least three years until the population nears the established AML and another gather is scheduled.

The AML for the Reveille HMA was established through the Final Multiple Use Decision for the Reveille Allotment issued June 13, 2001, which adjusted the AML to 138 wild horses. The current estimated population is 173 wild horses based on an inventory flight in February 2016 and annual growth of approximately 15-20%.

Details for this Gather:

The BLM uses a Federal gather contractor to gather wild horses from HMAs where the BLM has determined that excess animals exist. The contractor uses a helicopter to locate and herd horses towards a set of corrals where the horses are gathered. The helicopter is assisted by a ground crew and a domesticated horse, to lead the gathered horses into the corrals. If needed, the ground crew may assist the helicopter by roping the horses from horseback.

The BLM takes very seriously the humane treatment of wild horses and burros, especially during gathers. Helicopter has shown to be the most humane method to gather wild horses while providing for the efficiency needed to allow for selection of animals to release to the range and for the implementation of Population Growth Suppressants such as fertility control (PZP-22). The potential hazards and impacts of the gather to wild horses were fully analyzed in the 2010 Reveille Gather Environmental Assessment available at the link to the right. The Agency Expectations document for the Reveille Gather presents additional safeguards to minimize stress and injury to wild horses during gather operations.

Public Observation Opportunities:

The public is welcome to attend the gather and is encouraged to check the gather hotline nightly (775-861-6700) for departure times and other pertinent information. For additional gather information, including what you need to know before attending the gahter, look under the 'downloads' section on the righthand side of this page. 

Background:

The Reveille HMA is located 50 miles east of Tonopah and 12 miles south of Warm Springs, Nevada, in Nye County. The area consists of 105,494 acres and encompasses an area 17 miles wide and 10 miles long. The Proposed Gather Area encompasses the Reveille Allotment which exceeds 600,000 acres in size. This area is typical of the Great Basin region characterized by north-south trending mountain ranges. Significant features are large flat valley bottoms and steep mountains with elevations ranging from 5,000 feet in the Reveille Valley to over 9,400 feet on Kawich Mountain. The area is remote and rugged, with portions of four Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) included within the proposed gather area, and portions of two WSAs within the Reveille HMA itself. The vegetation consists primarily of salt desert shrub, black sagebrush, and pinyon-juniper woodlands. Noteworthy species include Indian ricegrass, needle-and-thread grass, galleta grass, bottlebrush squirreltail, winterfat (white sage), fourwing saltbush, shadscale, and bud sagebrush. 

The area falls within the Great Basin Desert which encompasses much of Nevada, western Utah, portions of southern Oregon and small parts of Idaho and California. The weather and precipitation patterns vary considerably within Central Nevada. The orographic features of the region play a very important role in the unequal distribution of precipitation. Central Nevada is very arid. The Reveille area valleys receive less than five inches of annual precipitation, while mountaintops can receive as much as 16 inches. Since 1985, average annual precipitation at the East rain gauge (14 miles southeast of the HMA) has been 4.91 inches.  Since 2014, average annual precipitation at the West rain gauge (within the HMA) has been 4.12 inches (this gauge was first established in 2013). Summers are hot and dry, with high temperatures in the 90s or higher. Winters are cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing and below zero degrees. The Reveille HMA receives snow during the winter which may range from several inches to nearly a foot in depth depending upon the severity of the winter, and elevation. As a comparison, Texas, Nebraska, Kentucky and Northern California all receive 15-30 inches or more annually, which is 3-6 times more precipitation than the lower elevations of the Reveille HMA. Wild horses of the Reveille HMA are able to move into the Stone Cabin HMA and the Nevada Wild Horse Range on the Nellis Test Site.

After the 2014 Reveille gather, 45 hair samples were analyzed by Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University.  The results indicated that the genetic variants and variation are above the mean for wild herds. The closest similarity to domestic horses is with the Light Racing and Riding breeds followed by Oriental and Arabian breeds. There is also a cluster with a group of Spanish breeds. According to the report, the results indicate a herd with mixed origins with no clear indication of primary breed type.

 

Gather Reports

Friday, February 3

Summary: Gather operations concluded today after treating 30 mares with fertility control and releasing 68 wild horses back out onto the range. 

Animals gathered: 0
Mares treated with fertility control: 30
Animals released: 68
Animals shipped: 38—18 mares, 13 studs, 7 foals
Total Deaths Today: 1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1 - A 20-year-old sorrel stud with an old injury of the right hind pastern, causing lateral deviation of the lower limb and hoof deformity was euthanized after the vetranarian determined that to be the most humane course of action.

 


Thursday, February 2

Summary: Cold and cloudy to start but sunny by mid-morning with a high of 54 degrees. Tomorrow will consist of administering fertility control, collecting samples for genetic testing, release some wildhorses back to the range and ship the remaining removed wildhorses to the Ridgecrest Facility. 

Animals gathered: 28 (13 Studs / 12 Mares / 3 mixed Weanings & Yearlings)
Mares treated with fertility control: 0
Animals released: 0
Animals shipped: 0
Total Deaths Today: 0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0 


Wednesday, February 1

Summary: Two helicopter runs were conducted today and 45 wild horses were gathered. There is a potential for rain tomorrow and road conditions continue to worsen in the afternoon as the snow cover melts and mud starts to form. The gather team has now caught 123 horses and is hoping to get to 150-160 tomorrow.

Animals gathered: 45 (26 Studs / 15 Mares / 4 mixed Weanings & Yearlings)
Mares treated with fertility control: 0
Animals released: 0
Animals shipped: 0
Total Deaths Today: 1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1 (20 year-old bay mare with body condition score of 2; met euthanasia criteria #2: A Henneke body condition score of less than 3 with a poor or hopeless prognosis for improvement.) 


Tuesday, January 31

Summary: Weather conditions were mild with no wind and sunshine throughout the day; temperatures were 45 degrees by mid-morning, light snow cover and the snow continues to melt creating muddy roads.

Animals gathered: 46 (16 Studs / 21 Mares / 9 mixed Weanings & Yearlings)
Mares treated with fertility control: 0
Animals released: 0
Animals shipped: 0
Total Deaths Today: 0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0


Monday, January 30

Summary: The gather team was only able to conduct one run but it was a productive one, gathering 32 wild horses. Tomorrow should be a full day of gathering, sorting and transport to the Ridgecrest Wild Horse corral facility. 

Animals gathered: 32 (11 Studs / 16 Mares / 5 mixed Weanings & Yearlings)
Mares treated with fertility control: 0
Animals released: 0
Animals shipped: 0
Total Deaths Today: 0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Facility Reports

Wednesday, February 1

Summary: Received a load of horses at 2:30pm. All horses arrived in good shape and unloaded without incidents. 

Animals received: 43 (14 Studs, 15 Mares, 14 mixed Weanlings/Yearlings)
Animal deaths at facility: 0
Cause: N/A

Right Sidebar Content: 

Downloads

Official gather documents for this gather can be accessed on ePlanning here

Information Materials: 

Adoption Information

All horses removed from the range as part of this gather will be transported to the Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Off-Range Corrals in California, where they will be made available for adoption. For more information about the Wild Horse Adoption Program click here.

You can also click here to go to the BLM's Facilities and Internet Adoption page - be sure to check this one out!

Daily Totals 

Animals Gathered: 

0

Animals Treated with Fertility Control 

30

Animals Returned to Home Range 

68—30 mares and 38 studs

Animal Deaths 

1

Cumulative Totals 

Animals Gathered

151 (66 Studs, 64 Mares, 21 mixed weanlings/yearlings)

Animals Treated with Fertiity Control 

30

Animals Returned to Home Range

68

Animal Deaths

2 (Chronic/Pre-existing)