Join the open forum: Using PZP on federally protected wild horses and burros, is it safe?

PM PZP Syringe Yearling Meme

 

The open forum on PZP for federally protected equids is held on Facebook here and everyone is welcome: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForumPZPWildHorsesBurros/

Statement:

“If the good people of Nevada choose to use PZP to manage their wild horses on state land it’s up to them because that is a state issue. Americans across the country are concerned PZP isn’t safe and don’t want their wild horses and burros on federal land to be given the restricted-use pesticide hailed as “birth control” but known to sterilize after multiple use. If PZP advocates can prove PZP is 100% safe for native wild horse and burro herds, won’t sterilize them, ruin genetic variability or cause behavioral abnormalities then it could be considered as a management tool. Until then other holistic management tools must be examined. It’s time for a freeze on roundups, drugging and removals for scientific reevaluation. We need to get it right for our icons of American freedom.” ~ Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs

PZP advocates put wild horses at risk of sterilization after roundup

Stop the Roundups!

Protect Mustangs calls for a freeze on roundups for scientific reevaluation

Tonopah, NV (October 31, 2014)–The Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office is rounding up about 120 wild horses from within the Reveille Allotment and Herd Management Area (HMA) located approximately 50 miles east of Tonopah, NV to remove alleged excess wild horses on 600,000 acres of public land.

“The BLM is wiping out America’s wild horses and taxpayers are paying for the abuse,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “We need to stop the roundups and protect our native wild horses.”

The roundup will stampede native wild horse families by helicopter over a fragile ecosystem and possible sage grouse habitat in the Great Basin Desert. Often wild horses are injured and die in roundups. The treacherous roundup is paid for with tax dollars, and began October 30, 2014. Most herds need to be rounded up before given PZP.

After the roundup, approximately 70 wild horses will be permanently removed, 60 wild horses will be sent to holding facilities in Ridgecrest, California and about 10 horses will be offered for adoption after the roundup in Tonopah, NV on November 8. The remaining 50 wild horses will be released back into the HMA for a post roundup population of 98 wild horses, putting the survivors at risk. The minimum number for genetic variability is 150 wild horses.

Often the BLM returns wild horses with conformation defects to the range, instead of placing them in adoptive homes or long-term holding where they will not breed. Apparently the agency doesn’t realize that by returning wild horses with defects they will ruin the breeding pool. The BLM claims mares selected to maintain herd characteristics will be released back to the HMA. The public must watchdog the agency to ensure wild horses with defects are pulled from the breeding pool and rehomed. Euthanizing them is not an option supported by the American public.

The informed public is outraged over an EPA approved restricted use pesticide called PZP, made from pigs ovaries, to be used on native wild horses. PZP advocates campaign rigorously to treat mares with the Porcine Zona Pellucidae (PZP-22) in order to temporarily sterilize mares. PZP advocates hail the use of PZP in spite of the fact that wild horses are underpopulated on millions of acres of public land.

Experimental research on ovary damage in mares given the immunocontraceptive PZP is used to hone the drug for eventual human use. This could be where the “follow the money” piece fits in. Wild horse advocates are furious America’s herds are being used as lab rats. Science has proven the drug sterilizes wild horses after multiple use. PZP advocates are pushing for BLM to manage wild horses “in the wild” using these risky drugs.

The devastation of wild horses in the Reveille Allotment appears to be subject to a 1987 District Court Order and two orders issued by the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) in 2001 and 2002, requiring BLM conduct an annual inventory of wild horses in the Reveille Allotment and initiate a roundup to remove alleged excess native horses from the Allotment when the inventory shows that population numbers exceed the out of date Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 138 horses.

Current AML does not represent healthy herd populations and lacks scientific merit. AML must be updated to ensure healthy herds remain on public land. The herd census must never fall below 150 wild horses to maintain genetic variability.

The current estimated population, based on previous inventory flights is 168 wild horses, according to BLM. This is the low end of the genetic viability scale. The orders need to be challenged based on scientific reevaluation of wild horses benefiting the ecosystem as a native species, livestock causing range damage and the minimum number of wild horses needed for genetic variability.

“We must ensure native wild horses can survive upcoming environmental changes,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The minimum population for a genetically variable herd is 150. Why are PZP advocates and the BLM allowing wild horse herds to fall below safe numbers?”

According to a press release from National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released June 5, 2013, “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations,” says a new report by the National Research Council.

The NAS report states there is “no evidence” of overpopulation. Only tobacco science and spin backs up BLM’s population claim to justify roundups and fertility control/sterilizations. PZP advocates lobbied NAS to have fertility control recommended even though the herds are underpopulated.

Roundup activities within the Reveille HMA were analyzed in the 2010 Reveille HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) and the 2014 Reveille Wild Horse Gather Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA). The EA, DNA, and Decision Record can be accessed on the Reveille Wild Horse Gather website: http://on.doi.gov/10qLBlh.

Members of the public are encouraged to witness the helicopter stampede and document America’s icons losing their freedom to spread awareness that cruel roundups must stop. Observation protocols and visitor information are available at http://on.doi.gov/1xAMeTp. The BLM will post updates, photos and other information about the roundup on the Reveille website and on the hotline at 775-861-6700 throughout the course of the roundup.

The BLM is wiping out wild horses for the extractive industry and New Energy Frontier in the West. The agency manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM focuses on their mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

BLM’s roundups disturb the thriving natural ecological balance by disturbing habitat dynamics. This crime against nature causes abnormally high birthrate and puts native wild horses at risk of inbreeding.

“We are calling for an immediate freeze on roundups and removals for scientific reevaluation,” states Novak. “Right now native wild horses are at risk of being ruined by bad policy.”

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of native and wild horses. The group is against using PZP in the wild. Today most wild herds are threatened with low numbers and a lack of genetic variability. Using PZP in a sanctuary setting where acreage is limited is a different situation. Wild horses must not be managed in the wild as if they were a zoo exhibit.

# # #

Links of interest™:

Info on PZP sterilizing mares: The Effects of Porcine Zona Pellucida Immunocontraception on Health and Behavior of Feral Horses (Equus caballus), Princeton http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01vt150j42p

Princeton study on the pros and cons of adoption and immunocontraception: http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/IEC.Rubenstein.pdf Not sure about EWA’s position on PZP now they might have embraced it like some others have.

Jamie Jackson’s piece on PZP: http://protectmustangs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/PM-Jamie-Jackson-Using_Science_to_Improve_the_BLM_Wild_Horse_and_Burro_Program.pdf

Management of Wild Horses with Porcinezona Pellucida Pellucide: History, Consequences and Future Strategies, Cassandra M.V. Nuñez, Princeton: http://bit.ly/1rJywKl

Restricted use pesticide info: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-de info: Jan-12.pdf

Injection-Site Reactions in Wild Horses (Equus caballus) Receiving an Immunocontraceptive Vaccine, By James E. Roelle and Jason I. Ransom, http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5038/

Pilot project to treat wild horses in Fish Springs communityhttp://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/april/blm_approves_pilot.html

and http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org/media/pzp-pilot-project-treat-wild-horses-fish-springs-community

BLM Nevada Advisory Council Endorses Fertility Control Plan (Oct. 20, 2014) http://www.returntofreedom.org/blm-nevada-advisory-council-endorses-fertility-control-plan-october20-2014/

BLM partners with The Cloud Foundation in the Pryorshttp://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/main_story.Par.31432.File.dat/TopStoryHorse.pdf

Why end natural selection in the Pryors? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4941

Are wild horses at risk of being sterilized due to an advocacy campaign? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6356

Ecologist Craig Downer speaks out against using PZP in the Pryorshttp://protectmustangs.org/?p=4178

Horse contraceptive study raises concerns  Horsetalk, NZ: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2010/10/220.shtml#ixzz3Hti8ioCv

Appeal to stop the wild horse wipe outhttp://protectmustangs.org/?p=6527

The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America by Craig Downer PhD candidate: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Wild Horse Conspiracy by Craig Downer:  www.amazon.com/dp/1461068983

Conformation defectshttp://www.thehorse.com/articles/10115/conformation-in-horses

Genetic viabilityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_viability

Genetic variabilityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_variability

J. Kirkpatrick team get $100K for wild horse fertility control drug PZPhttp://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/jay-kirkpatrick-team-get-100k-for-wild-horse-fertility-control-drug-pzp/

Making PZP at The Science and Conservation Centerhttp://www.sccpzp.org

Native wild horseshttp://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

Petition for shelter and shade for captive wild horses and burroshttp://www.change.org/p/bring-emergency-shelter-and-shade-to-captive-wild-horses-and-burros

Petition for 10 year moratorium on wild horse roundups for recovery and studieshttps://www.change.org/p/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-recovery-and-studies

Petition to defund and stop the wild horse roundupshttp://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups

Join the Walking Billboard Campaign to STOP THE ROUNDUPS in Nevadahttps://www.booster.com/protect-mustangs-nevada

Sample of viral news clippings: https://newsle.com/AnneNovak

Anne Novak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak

Protect Mustangs on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtectMustangs

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

www.ProtectMustangs.org

BLM Ely, Nevada, district to roundup native wild horses

Visit Nevada?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District is scheduled in early November to begin rounding up and removing approximately 120 alleged excess wild horses from in and around the Triple B and Silver King herd management areas (HMAs) in eastern Nevada.

Details will be posted on the district website as they become available. The roundups are allegedly necessary to prevent further damage to private property and provide for public and animal safety.

The district will remove about 70 alleged excess wild horses from the Triple B HMA, located about 30 miles northwest of Ely, that are allegedly damaging private property, and allegedly harassing and breeding domestic stock resulting in landowner complaints. Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Triple B HMA is 215-250 wild horses. The current population is 1,311 wild horses.

The district will remove up to 50 excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King HMA. The horses to be gathered are located about 120 miles south of Ely. They are an alleged safety concern on U.S. Highway 93 and are damaging private property, resulting in property owner complaints. The AML for the Silver King HMA is 60-128 wild horses. The current population is 452 wild horses.

The BLM claims attempts to keep wild horses away from private property and the highway, including trapping and relocating animals to other portions of the HMAs, have been unsuccessful.

The BLM will utilize the services of roundup contractor Cattoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., of Nephi, Utah, which uses a helicopter to locate and stampede wild horses toward a set of corrals to be trapped and who has already been paid millions of tax dollars, year after year. The pilot is assisted by a ground crew and a domesticated horse, known as a Judas horse who is trained to lead wild horses into the corral.

Wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley, in Reno, Nevada, where they will be offered for adoption to qualified individuals. Wild horses for which BLM is unable to adopt out will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be allegedly humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

A Wild Horse Gather Information Line has been established at 775/861-6700. A recorded message will provide information on daily gather activities and schedules. The BLM will also post daily gather information on its website.

Public lands within the HMAs will be open to the public during gather operations, subject to necessary safety restrictions, and the BLM will make every effort to allow for public viewing opportunities. The BLM has established protocols for visitors to ensure the safety of the wild horses, the public, and BLM and contract staff. The protocols are available at http://on.doi.gov/1lGnDYC under “Observation Opportunities.”

Roundups in and outside the Triple B HMA were analyzed in the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley HMA Gather Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA), signed in May 2011 and available at http://on.doi.gov/1tgdHc6. Gather activities in and around the Silver King HMA were analyzed in the Ely District Public Safety and Nuisance Gather EA signed in August 2014 and available at http://on.doi.gov/1lx856K.

For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at 775/289-1842 or chanefel@blm.gov.

Tobacco science scapegoats wild horses for livestock damage in the West

Dave Philipps writes an anti-wild horse story with pro-slaughter undertones–ignoring the fact that livestock grazing is destroying public land

By Anne Novak, Founder of Protect Mustangs

In his New York Times piece, As Wild Horses Overrun the West, Ranchers Fear Land Will Be Gobbled Up, Philipps writes,

“There are now twice as many wild horses in the West as federal land managers say the land can sustain. The program that manages them has broken down, and unchecked populations pose a threat to delicate public land, as well as the ranches that rely on it.”

Why is Philipps ignoring the 2013 National Academy of Sciences’ statement that there is “no evidence of overpopulation”?

Philipps also avoids the fact that commercial livestock outnumbers wild horses more than 50 to I on public land.

If left unchecked, horse populations could decimate grass and water on public lands, he said, potentially leading to starvation among horse herds and other native species, as well as lawsuits from ranchers and wildlife groups.

Why is the Pulitzer Prize-winner spreading myths that America’s wild horses are not native by writing this?

Wild horses today are the descendants of stray American Indian ponies and cavalry mounts, as well as more recent ranch stock. Roaming a patchwork of parched rangeland roughly the size of Alabama, they have been protected by federal law since 1971 from capture or hunting. Since then, the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees most of the herds, has said that keeping the population around 26,000 would ensure the long-term health of the horses and the land.

Surely this investigative journalist learned that wild horses are indigenous.

Below are some excerpts from scientific papers on wild horses as native or ‘returned-native’ species:

In 2010, Jay Kirkpatrick and Patricia Fazio explained the following in Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife:

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”

The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.

Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the “livestock‐gone‐loose” appellation.

In June 2014 the American Journal of Life Science published The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, by Craig Downer who writes,

“Fossil, genetic and archeological evidence supports these species as native. Also, objective evaluations of their respective ecological niches and the mutual symbioses of post-gastric digesting, semi-nomadic equids support wild horses and burros as restorers of certain extensive North American ecosystems.”

Read the extensive paper here: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Other truths were ignored also. . . For example, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has produced factual reports proving livestock is causing extensive range damage. Philipps fails to mention this damage in his article. Here are some examples of PEER’s excellent information:

NEVADA RANCHERS SUFFER FROM SELF-DELUDED DROUGHT DENIAL
Data Backs BLM Manager’s Allotment Cuts in Face of “Cowboy Express” Protest

Washington, DC (September 25, 2014)— A U.S. Bureau of Land Management District Manager from Nevada targeted by angry Nevada ranchers was more than justified in removing cattle from drought-stricken public rangeland, according to data released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Tomorrow, protesting ranchers start a “Cowboy Express” ride to Washington demanding removal of BLM Battle Mountain District Manager Douglas Furtado as an “abusive federal employee” even as conservation groups urge that Furtado be commended not condemned for his actions.

In July, Battle Mountain District Manager Furtado ordered livestock removed from parched range on the sprawling 332,000-acre Argenta allotment in northern Nevada after conditions fell below thresholds that ranchers and BLM had previously agreed would trigger removal. The ranchers contend that Furtado’s actions were arbitrary but an analysis of Geographic Information Systems and BLM data reveal range in terrible ecological shape:

  • Nearly every Battle Mountain allotment evaluated failed range health standards for wildlife and water quality, largely due to livestock grazing;
  • Half of the Argenta Allotment, and roughly 30% of the Battle Mountain District is habitat for sage grouse, a species being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. BLM has been directed to protect the species’ habitat but 90% of assessed sage grouse habitat was in Battle Mountain allotments failing standards due to livestock; and
  • Fence line contrasts visible in satellite imagery show that public lands in the checkerboarded allotment are far more heavily grazed than private lands, suggesting that ranchers are more protective of their own lands than they are of publicly-owned range.

Read the full article here.

BLM WEIGHS WILD HORSE IMPACT MUCH MORE HEAVILY THAN CATTLE
Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects

Washington, DC (September 16, 2014)— The method used by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to assess range conditions is seriously skewed toward minimizing impacts from domestic livestock and magnifying those from wild horses and burros, according to an appraisal by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the BLM’s approach to range management targets scattered wild horses and burros while ignoring far more numerous cattle.

The agency’s assessment is part of a 2013 report on factors influencing conservation of the Greater Sage-Grouse, a ground-dwelling bird whose numbers have declined as much as 90% across the West and which is under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act. That report concludes that twice the area of sage grouse habitat is negatively impacted by wild horses and burros than the area negatively impacted by livestock. A PEER appraisal of the methodology found –

  • BLM calculates the “area of influence” of wild horses and burros on sage grouse habitat based merely on their presence within Herd Management Areas in sage grouse habitat, while it considers livestock impact to have occurred only when livestock grazing allotments fail the agency’s Land Health Status (LHS) standard for wildlife;
  • If the agency used the same approach for calculating the area of influence of livestock within BLM grazing allotments on sage grouse habitat as it did for wild horses and burros, the area of influence for livestock would be roughly 14 times that given in the report and more than six times that of wild horses and burros; and
  • Within BLM’s own grazing allotment LHS database records, livestock grazing is cited as a cause of failure to achieve a land health standard 30 times more often than are wild horses and burros.

“At BLM apparently not all hooves are created equal,” said PEER’s Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the LHS evaluations cover more than 20,000 grazing allotments and examine whether a grazing allotment meets the agency’s standards for rangeland health with respect to several vegetation and habitat conditions. “This helps explain why wild horses are regularly removed from the range but livestock numbers are rarely reduced.”

Read the full article here.

LIVESTOCK’S HEAVY HOOVES IMPAIR ONE-THIRD OF BLM RANGELANDS
33 million Acres of BLM Grazing Allotments Fail Basic Rangeland Health Standards

Washington, DC (May 14, 2012)— A new federal assessment of rangelands in the West finds a disturbingly large portion fails to meet range health standards principally due to commercial livestock operations, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In the last decade as more land has been assessed, estimates of damaged lands have doubled in the 13-state Western area where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts major livestock leasing.

The “Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring and Evaluation Report for Fiscal Year 2011” covers BLM allotments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The report totals BLM acreage failing to meet rangeland health standards in measures such as water quality, watershed functionality and wildlife habitat:

  • Almost 40% of BLM allotments surveyed since 1998 have failed to meet the agency’s own required land health standards with impairment of more than 33 million acres, an area exceeding the State of Alabama in size, attributed to livestock grazing;
  • Overall, 30% of BLM’s allotment area surveyed to date suffers from significant livestock-induced damage, suggesting that once the remaining allotments have been surveyed, the total impaired area could well be larger than the entire State of Washington; and
  • While factors such as drought, fire, invasion by non-native plants, and sprawl are important, livestock grazing is identified by BLM experts as the primary cause (nearly 80%) of BLM lands not meeting health standards.

“Livestock’s huge toll inflicted on our public lands is a hidden subsidy which industry is never asked to repay,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, noting that the percentage of impairment in lands assessed remains fairly consistent over the past decade. “The more we learn about actual conditions, the longer is the ecological casualty list.”

Read the full article here.

GRAZING PUNTED FROM FEDERAL STUDY OF LAND CHANGES IN WEST
Scientists Told to Not Consider Grazing Due to Fear of Lawsuits and Data Gaps

Washington, DC — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is carrying out an ambitious plan to map ecological trends throughout the Western U.S. but has directed scientists to exclude livestock grazing as a possible factor in changing landscapes, according to a scientific integrity complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The complaint describes how one of the biggest scientific studies ever undertaken by BLM was fatally skewed from its inception by political pressure.

Funded with up to $40 million of stimulus funds, BLM is conducting Rapid Ecoregional Assessments in each of the six main regions (such as the Colorado Plateau and the Northern Great Plains) covering the vast sagebrush West. A key task was choosing the “change agents” (such as fire or invasive species) which would be studied. Yet when the scientific teams were assembled at an August 2010 workshop, BLM managers informed them that grazing would not be studied due to anxiety from “stakeholders,” fear of litigation and, most perplexing of all, lack of available data on grazing impacts.

Exclusion of grazing was met with protests from the scientists. Livestock grazing is permitted on two-thirds of all BLM lands, with 21,000 grazing allotments covering 157 million acres across the West. As one participating scientist said, as quoted in workshop minutes:

“We will be laughed out of the room if we don’t use grazing. If you have the other range of disturbances, you have to include grazing.”

Read the full piece here.

Why hasn’t Phillips used PEER’s information to report fairly or is he only chomping on what the Cattlemen’s lobby feed him?

The Times article also pushes the wild horse overpopulation myth to fool people into believing there is a problem. For example, In northeastern Nevada only 1,338 wild horses are allowed on 1.8 million acres of public land designated for their primary but not exclusive use. Hardly overpopulated.

Holistic range management options aren’t discussed but the massive slaughter of captive wild horses is brought up like a ticking time bomb. The truth is, there are more wild horses in government holding than living in freedom on the range. Those left on the range have a red flag birthrate. The herds fear extinction and mother nature doesn’t want them to die off. If the Bureau of Land Management didn’t take so many off the range, birthrates would be normal and herds would self-stabilize. Princeton University working with the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros has learned in a 14 year study that wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds.

In the UK, wildlife managers are using wild horses to heal the land and restore biodiversity. Holisitic management can work on America’s public lands if people would take the time to learn a new system but it seems they are just too lazy. . . Lazy, like the journalist who doesn’t do basic research for his article.

Has someone done a “follow the money” on Dave Philipps to see what’s really spurring him on? Now that’s an article I would find informative.

 

Links of interest™:

Dave Philipps’ spin piece in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/us/as-wild-horses-overrun-the-west-ranchers-fear-land-will-be-gobbled-up.html?_r=0

Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio. Revised January 2010. Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings. 8 pages.

Craig C. Downer, The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 5-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

National Academy of Sciences: Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Princeton University and ISPMB: Wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds  http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

Wild horses of Wildwood: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL912AA41C7AEC3E22

 

Help fund NATIVE WILD HORSES™ the documentary

 

Native Wild Horses™

Please help support the documentary NATIVE WILD HORSES™, a film by Anne Novak, to educate and inspire people to stand up for America’s vanishing icons of freedom. Right now we need your help to film in Wyoming before the Bureau of Land Management roundup wipes out the Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells herds.

Buying someone else’s Wyoming footage would be too expensive, not have our point of view and often filmmakers want to keep their footage for their exclusive use–so it’s not even an option.

You can go to our homepage at www.ProtectMustangs.org to make a donation to the documentary NATIVE WILD HORSES™ and make a difference for these magnificent wild creatures who deserve to remain forever wild and free.

We also have a tax-deductible fundraiser here http://www.gofundme.com/ejjcwo for the Wyoming leg of the shoot. Everyone who donates $200 and up will be thanked in the credits because we are so grateful for your support of the documentary.

America’s wild horses deserve to be seen and protected forever.

 

Native wild horses are not pests ~ Stop managing them to extinction

Dear Friends of Wild Horses and Burros

Protect Mustangs is a national nonprofit organization making grassroots count. Our mission is to protect and preserve native and wild horses. Besides engaging mostly in outreach and education about the wild horse crisis, we advocate for holistic land management, self-sustaining herds and reserve design. We are calling for a 10 year moratorium on roundups for the herds to recover from the roundups and for studies to form good management plans. Right now there are no accurate census counts on the range so we don’t even have a clear picture of the few wild horses left living in freedom.

Our members don’t see an overpopulation or “excess” of wild horses on public land, even if the population is over BLM’s biased appropriate management level (AML). Livestock outnumbers wild horses more than 50 to 1 on the range. Yet wild horses are always scapegoated for damage by special interest groups.

We are deeply concerned that the use of FDA approved “restricted use pesticides” such as PZP–an immunocontraceptive made from pig ovaries that people call birth control–sterilizes mares after multiple uses and should never be used on nonviable herds, those herds with less than 150 wild horses. Genetic diversity is essential for survival and using PZP surely will curtail that. There is one herd in Nevada currently being treated by wild horse advocates that seems to have less than 50 wild horses. This worried us.

Wild horses are a native species and not pests. Sadly there are factions who are treating wild horses as individuals and ignoring the herd element and other factions treating wild horses as invasive pests.

Despite decades of experimental research on wild mares, the FDA would not approve PZP as safe. Eventually the EPA approved it as a restricted use pesticide. You can see the pesticide fact sheet here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

How can drugging mares with restricted use pesticides be honoring their freedom? Most of the time the BLM will need to round them up to dart them anyway. You can hear the BLM official speak about that here: http://www.thespectrum.com/videos/news/local/cedar-city/2014/08/06/13698391/

We are also concerned PZP and other sterilants affect behavior and that mares will be subjected to live in unnatural situations.

Ruining survival of the fittest and natural selection is our biggest concern if man chooses who breeds and how many foals are born. The herds must adapt to upcoming environmental and climate changes in order to survive, therefore genetic variability is essential at this pivotal time.

You can read about PZP on these various posts: http://protectmustangs.org/?s=PZP+&submit=Search

Here you can read about Gonacon on these posts: http://protectmustangs.org/?s=gonacon&submit=Search

This is also a good post to read about the ISPMB and Princeton study that shows wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

You can search other topics you might have questions about in our search bar too: http://protectmustangs.org

We are 100% volunteer and are working to help the wild horses without any conflict of interest as far as we can tell. We do not receive funding from influencers, corporations or organizations connected with the drug PZP, the pharmaceutical industry, Big Oil and Gas or other energy, ranching and mining sources. That’s why your donations are so important.

Our vision is to speak out for the voiceless, stop the BLM from being cruel to wild horses and work towards a solution for healthy management keeping wild horses on the range based on good science. We have a petition out for the 10 year moratorium on all roundups. Please sign and share it here: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-recovery-and-studies

Thank you for reaching out to us. It’s important to do the research and find the answer for yourself so you can feel good about taking action to help save the last of the wild horses and burros.

We are grateful you care so deeply about saving America’s wild ones.

Many blessings,
Anne

 

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
San Francisco, California

Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak
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In the news: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218

www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs is a national nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

 

 

Wild horses as native north American wildlife

 

© Cynthia Smalley

Statement for the 109th Congress (1st Session) in support of H.R. 297
A Bill in the House of Representatives
House Committee on Resources
Introduced January 25, 2005

To restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros.

BY JAY F. KIRKPATRICK, PH.D. AND PATRICIA M. FAZIO, PH.D.

Are wild horses truly “wild,” as an indigenous species in North America, or are they “feral” weeds – barnyard escapees, far removed genetically from their prehistoric ancestors? The question at hand is, therefore, whether or not modern horses, Equus caballus, should be considered native wildlife.

The genus Equus, which includes modern horses, zebras, and asses, is the only surviving genus in a once diverse family of horses that included 27 genera. The precise date of origin for the genus Equus is unknown, but evidence documents the dispersal of Equus from North America to Eurasia approximately 2-3 million years ago and a possible origin at about 3.4-3.9 million years ago. Following this original emigration, several extinctions occurred in North America, with additional migrations to Asia (presumably across the Bering Land Bridge), and return migrations back to North America, over time. The last North American extinction occurred between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago.1 Had it not been for previous westward migration, over the land bridge, into northwestern Russia (Siberia) and Asia, the horse would have faced complete extinction. However, Equus survived and spread to all continents of the globe, except Australia and Antarctica.

In 1493, on Columbus’ second voyage to the Americas, Spanish horses, representing E. caballus, were brought back to North America, first in the Virgin Islands, and, in 1519, they were reintroduced on the continent, in modern-day Mexico, from where they radiated throughout the American Great Plains, after escape from their owners.2

Critics of the idea that the North American wild horse is a native animal, using only paleontological data, assert that the species, E. caballus (or the caballoid horse), which was introduced in 1519, was a different species from that which disappeared 13,000 to 11,000 years before. Herein lies the crux of the debate. However, the relatively new (27-year-old) field of molecular biology, using mitochondrial-DNA analysis, has recently found that the modern or caballine horse, E. caballus, is genetically equivalent to E. lambei, a horse, according to fossil records, that represented the most recent Equus species in North America prior to extinction. Not only is E. caballus genetically equivalent to E. lambei, but no evidence exists for the origin of E. caballus anywhere except North America.3

According to the work of Uppsala University researcher Ann Forstén, of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, the date of origin, based on mutation rates for mitochondrial-DNA, for E. caballus, is set at approximately 1.7 million years ago in North America. Now the debate becomes one of whether the older paleontological fossil data or the modern molecular biology data more accurately provide a picture of horse evolution. The older taxonomic methodologies looked at physical form for classifying animals and plants, relying on visual observations of physical characteristics. While earlier taxonomists tried to deal with the subjectivity of choosing characters they felt would adequately describe, and thus group, genera and species, these observations were lacking in precision. Reclassifications are now taking place, based on the power and objectivity of molecular biology. If one considers primate evolution, for example, the molecular biologists have provided us with a completely different evolutionary pathway for humans, and they have described entirely different relationships with other primates. None of this would have been possible prior to the methodologies now available through mitochondrial-DNA analysis.

Carles Vilà, also of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, has corroborated Forstén’s work. Vilà et al have shown that the origin of domestic horse lineages was extremely widespread, over time and geography, and supports the existence of the caballoid horse in North American before its disappearance.4

Finally, the work of Hofreiter et al, 5 examining the genetics of the so-called E. lambei from the permafrost of Alaska, found that the variation was within that of modern horses, which translates into E. lambei actually being E. caballus, genetically. The molecular biology evidence is incontrovertible and indisputable. The fact that horses were domesticated before they were reintroduced matters little from a biological viewpoint. They are the same species that originated here, and whether or not they were domesticated is quite irrelevant. Domestication altered little biology, and we can see that in the phenomenon called “going wild,” where wild horses revert to ancient behavioral patterns. James Dean Feist dubbed this “social conservation” in his paper on behavior patterns and communication in the Pryor Mountain wild horses. The reemergence of primitive behaviors, resembling those of the plains zebra, indicated to him the shallowness of domestication in horses.6

The issue of feralization and the use of the word “feral” is a human construct that has little biological meaning except in transitory behavior, usually forced on the animal in some manner. Consider this parallel. E. Przewalski (Mongolian wild horse) disappeared from Mongolia a hundred years ago. It has survived since then in zoos. That is not domestication in the classic sense, but it is captivity, with keepers providing food and veterinarians providing health care. Then they were released a few years back and now repopulate their native range in Mongolia. Are they a reintroduced native species or not? And what is the difference between them and E. caballus in North America, except for the time frame and degree of captivity?

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co-evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.” The non-native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science, but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses) with no economic value anymore (by law) and th economic value of commercial livestock. Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the “livestock-goneloose” appellation.

_________________________________

Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Director, The Science and Conservation Center, Billings, Mondana, holds a Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Patricia M. Fazio is currently a freelance environmental writer and editor residing in Cody, Wyoming and holds a B.S. in animal husbandry/biology from Cornell University, and M.S. in environmental history from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in environmental history from Texas A&M University, College Station.

1 “Horse Evolution” by Kathleen Hunt from www.onthenet.com.au/~stear/horse_evolution.htm; Bruce J. MacFadden, Fossil Horses: Systematics, Paleobiology, and Evolution of the Family Equidae (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 205.

2 Patricia Mabee Fazio, “The Fight to Save a Memory: Creation of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (1968) and Evolving Federal Wild Horse Protection through 1971,” doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University, College Station, 1995, p. 21.

3 Ann Forstén, 1992. Mitochondrial-DNA timetable and the evolution of Equus: Comparison of molecular and paleontological evidence. Ann. Zool. Fennici 28: 301-309.

4 Carles Vilà, Jennifer A. Leonard, Anders Götherström, Stefan Marklund, Kaj Sandberg, Kerstin Lidén, Robert K. Wayne, Hans Ellegren. 2001. Widespread origins of domestic horse lineages. Science 291: 474- 477.

5 Hofreiter, Michael; Serre, David; Poinar, Hendrik N.; Kuch, Melanie; Pääbo, Svante. 2001. Ancient DNA. Nature Reviews Genetics. 2(5), 353-359.

6 James Dean Feist and Dale R. McCullough. 1976. Behavior patterns and communication in feral horses. Z. Tierpsychol. 41: 367.

Posted for educational purposes.

Huge disinformation campaign against native wild horses in rural Utah and elsewhere to pitch slaughter

Cows (Photo © Anne Novak)

Cows (Photo © Anne Novak)

 

 

 

Today wild horses are underpopulated on public land. The BLM’s roundups and removals have caused the herds to have an increased birthrate because they fear extinction and the social structure is unstable.

The ISPMB Study shows wild horse herds with functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds. Click here to read the study: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

We request a 10 year moratorium on roundups for recovery and scientific studies before wild horses are managed to extinction.

Appeal to stop the wild horse wipe out

© Cynthia Smalley

 

Dear Friends of wild horses and burros,

Despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences stated there is “no evidence of overpopulation”, a group with alleged funding related conflict of interest is pushing the sterilizant known as PZP on an uninformed public using the ‘it’s either slaughter or PZP’ scare tactic.

Today’s drug pitch is found in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-roy/wild-horses-at-risk-of-sl_b_4934857.html  It references population control experiments on the less than 48,000 acre Assateague Island in the East and lacks scientific comparison with the vast open range found in the West–where some herd management areas cover 800,000 acres or more.

Why did the coalition of several groups give up the fight for wild horses’ real freedom?

Freedom is the American mustangs’ right according to the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. They should not be manipulated by man on the range nor in congressional back rooms. Native wild horses should never be domesticated through sterilizants with man choosing who breeds. That’s nature’s job in the wild. It fosters survival of the fittest.

The solution to the fertility control debate is to focus on what the wild herds need to thrive in freedom not what a campaign, driven by a sanctuary or the BLM, wants to achieve. We need good science to find solutions.

The BLM wants to eliminate the majority of wild herds to free up public land for toxic drilling so why is this coalition following BLM’s lead to push population control before science?

There is no accurate population count to justify roundups. BLM’s overpopulation claims are a farce.

What’s the solution for a falsified overpopulation problem?  A reality check and good science.

Fearing extinction from excessive roundups since the 2009 public land grab for energy exports, America’s wild horse birthrate in the West is abnormally high. That should be a red flag that there is something seriously wrong with ecology on their native range.

The Chainman Shale deposit of oil and natural gas in northeastern Nevada and into Utah is about to boom. Exploration began around 2009 in tandem with vast roundups removing the majority of wild horses who have the legal right to be on public land. Some went to probable slaughter and others make up the 50,000 captives warehoused in long-term holding facilities at taxpayer expense.

America’s wild horses should live wild and free–not drugged up with “restricted use pesticides” passed by the EPA for pest control and unsafe for domestic horses.

We invite the public and elected officials to demand a 10 year moratorium on roundups for recovery and studies to develop good science for management. Wild horses are an essential part of the thriving natural ecological balance. They will help reverse desertification and reduce global warming by filling their niche on their native range.

Please sign and share the petition for a 10 year moratorium on roundups for recovery and scientific studies: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-scientific-studies

Contact us if you want to keep America’s herds wild and free. Our email is Contact@ProtectMustangs.org  We need your help in various ways.

Remember the herds are the lifeblood of our native wild horses. Due to underpopulation their genetic viability is in crisis today. American wild horses must be protected from experimentation and from domestication so they can always run wild and free.

Many blessings,
Anne

Anne Novak
Executive Director for Protect Mustangs™
www.ProtectMustangs.org

Links of interest:

Chainman Shale: http://info.drillinginfo.com/chainman-shale-could-it-be-the-next-big-land-grab/

One of the many pesticide fact sheets: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

Are wild horses going to be sterilized due to an advocacy campaign? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6356

Washington Post reports: U.S. looking for ideas to help manage overpopulation http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-looking-for-ideas-to-help-manage-wild-horse-overpopulation/2014/01/26/8cae7c96-84f2-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648%2Fj.ajls.20140201.12

Press Release: No proof of overpopulation, no need for native wild horse fertility control http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4453

Bogus Science and Profiteering Stampeding Their Way into Wild Horse Country http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4475

Protect Mustangs speaks out against the Cloud Foundation’s PARTNERSHIP with BLM using risky PZP that could terminate natural selection: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4941

Wildlife Ecologist, Craig Downer, speaks out against using PZP in the Pryors: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4178

Report unveils wild horse underpopulation on 800,000 acre Twin Peaks range: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6278

www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs educates, protects and preserves native and wild horses. The nonprofit conservation group strives for a moratorium on roundups and science-based holistic land management to reduce global warming.