Wild Horse and Burro Program

Several wildhorses running side by side

The Bureau of Land Management manages and protects wild horses and burros on 26.9 million acres of public lands across 10 Western states as part of its mission to administer public lands for a variety of uses. The Wild Horse and Burro Program's goal is to manage healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public rangelands.

About the Wild Horse and Burro Program

The Bureau of Land Management created the Wild Horse and Burro Program to implement the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (.pdf), passed by Congress in 1971. Broadly, the law declares wild horses and burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” and stipulates that the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service have the responsibility to manage and protect herds in their respective jurisdictions within areas where wild horses and burros were found roaming in 1971. Read more >>

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Herd Management

Horses standing on the range.

The BLM manages free-roaming wild horses and burros on public lands as part of its multiple-use mission, with the goal of supporting healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public rangelands.  The BLM is responsible for determining and maintaining appropriate management levels (AML) for each herd and works to achieve that population target through a variety of management processes, including limiting reproduction in some herds through the use of birth control and gathers that remove excess animals from the range. Read more >>

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Adoptions and Sales

A wild horse facing the camera, with the words Bring Home your own wild horse or burro, announcing the new adoption incentive program, click here for more information.

The BLM works to place excess animals into private care through its Adoption and Sales Programs as well as successful partnerships with organizations across the nation.  Many have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro.  It is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage. Read more >>

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Get Involved

A groups of volunteers standing on the range with a banner.

There are many opportunities to get involved in the management and protection of America’s wild horses and burros.  The BLM relies on the advice and guidance of its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, as well as the hard work and determination of thousands of volunteers, partners, donors and contractors. Read more >>

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Rider on a horse

Managing, protecting, and finding homes for America’s wild horses and burro is challenging as it is rewarding.  The BLM relies on the work of many partners to accomplish its mission of maintaining healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public lands. 

The BLM works with its partners to accomplish range and herd management goals; training and adopting excess wild horses and burros; raising awareness of the unique qualities and sustained privilege of owning a wild horses or burro; and many other activities to improve the lives of the animals. Read more >>

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Contact Us and Request Information

 Four horse heads, one biting the lip of another

Do you have questions about the Wild Horse and Burro Program, or would you like to request program data? We recommend first checking our data page, which provides decades of population, adoption, removal and other historical data, as well as our Frequently Asked Questions page

For additional questions or data requests, please contact the National Information Center prior to submitting a request under the Freedom of Information Act. We strive to provide substantive responses as quickly as possible and reduce the need to submit FOIA requests. FOIA requests undergo a legal process that can be time intensive and costly, which consumes agency resources and funding that otherwise can be used to help fulfill our mission of managing healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public lands. 

Finally, please report any suspected inhumane treatment of wild horses and burros to the National Information Center. 

Wild Horse and Burro National Information Center
866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826)

Contact information for off-range corral facilities can be found on each facility webpage. 

Contact your local BLM state, district or field office for specific questions regarding submitting an adoption application, obtaining title and more. 

To submit a FOIA request, please visit the BLM's FOIA website

Photo credit: John Wheland

Wild horse and burro herd size relatively unchanged since last year

Wild horses on public lands

The BLM estimates there were approximately 82,883 wild horses and burros on BLM public lands as of March 1, 2023, which is still about three times what is sustainable and healthy for the land and the herds. The 2023 estimate is 499 more than what was estimated in 2022 and follows two years of population decline from a peak of more than 95,000 animals in 2020. Read more >>


Girl standing with a mustang.

Visit our adoption and sales pages.

Educational Resources

Single brown horse in a field of vegetation.

Find educational resources about wild horses and burros and their management, provided by the Bureau of Land Management. 


The BLM provides information to equine sale and auction facilities regarding the illegal sale of untitled wild horses and burros. If you observe or have factual information that a federally protected (untitled) wild horse or wild burro has been treated inhumanely or illegally sold to slaughter, please contact the BLM at wildhorse@blm.gov or at 866-468-7826 with your name, contact information, and specific information about what you saw or know. If possible, please include the freeze mark and/or photos. 

Ongoing Gathers

Popular Links

Image for Data and Statistics Page

    A group of horses in a pen with the words "Adoption and Sale Events"

    A horse face with the words Adoption Incentive Program

    A button that says Blog and shows a photo of a rider on a horse.

    A button with a close-up a a horse's face with the words Online Corral

    A group of horses in a pen with the words "Off-range Corrals"

    A pen with burros and the words Gather Schedule

    Other links

    Featured Video

    The Bureau of Land Management oversees 26.9 million acres of land used by wild horses, wild burros and other species. Unchecked herds double in size every four years, due to a lack of natural predators and a rapid growth rate. To prevent overpopulation and overgrazing, the BLM gathers excess animals and offers them for adoption or sale to a good home.