Wild Horse and Burro Program
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 >>
Learn more about the Wild Horse and Burro Program:
- Herd Management
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 >>
Learn more about:
- Adoptions and Sales
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 >>
Learn more about:
- Get Involved
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 >>
Learn more about:
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 >>
Learn more about:
- Contact Us and Request Information
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
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
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 >>
Recent BLM Announcements:
- BLM authorizes two wild horse fertility control vaccine trials
- BLM awards more than $4.7 million for wild horse and burro training and adoption programs
- BLM announces new opportunity for partnerships to support management of wild horses and burros
- Bureau of Land Management seeks services to expand fertility control efforts for wild horses and burros
- BLM enhances protections in wild horse and burro Adoption Incentive Program
HOW TO BRING HOME A WILD HORSE OR BURRO
Find educational resources about wild horses and burros and their management, provided by the Bureau of Land Management.
INHUMANE TREATMENT AND ILLEGAL SALE
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 email@example.com 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.