QUIZ: How much do you know about the American West's wild horse population?


A recent evaluation by a National Research Council committee sheds light on the National Wild Horses and Burros Program.

C: Garrott and Oli—authors of the Science article—believe a population size around 23,000 would be manageable. They estimate that if the typical 15 to 20 percent annual population increase of western horse herds could be halved by means of contraceptive vaccines, a gather-and-removal effort reduced the western horse population to the BLM’s goal of 23,622 horses and aggressive contraception treatment was initiated, then BLM need only remove 2,000 to 3,000 horses annually to maintain its goal. The number of horses annually removed would then more closely match adoption demand and that would minimize or eliminate the need for long-term maintenance of unadopted animals.

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