Thursday, 8 December 2016

Wild horse overpopulation is causing environmental damage

Date: December 7, 2016
Source: University of California - Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Most Americans envision healthy mustangs galloping free on the range when they think about the country's wild horse population. But UC Cooperative Extension rangeland advisor Laura Snell sees another image.

In conducting research on the overpopulated wild horse territory at Devil's Garden Plateau in Modoc County, she witnesses a group of horses visiting a dwindling and damaged pond.

"Maybe there is enough for the lead stallion and the lead mare to drink. The rest stand there and look longingly at the diminished water source," Snell said. "They do not seem content."

The research Snell has underway at Devil's Garden was chronicled in the current issue of California Agriculture journal by executive editor Jim Downing. The federal government has determined the ideal horse population on the 230,000 acres of wild horse territory is no more than 402; however, more than 2,000 wild horses are running on the land.

Snell began working in the remote northeast corner of California in 2015. 


Continued 

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