The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City, Nevada, District, Sierra Front Field Office has issued a decision to gather approximately 332 wild horses and remove approximately 200 excess wild horses within and outside the Pine Nut herd management area (HMA). As many as 132 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather.
The gather area is located south of Dayton and east of Carson City and Gardnerville, Nevada, within Lyon, Douglas, and Carson City Counties. The gather is scheduled to begin late January 2015.
A population inventory completed in August 2014 documented 332 wild horses. The appropriate management level for the HMA is 119 to 179 wild horses. Based on the inventory and monitoring data showing impacts from an over-population of the HMA, the BLM has determined that removal of the excess wild horses is necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance.
The BLM says that excessive grazing from wild horses has not only degraded the sage-grouse habitat, but has also removed and reduced the number of native grass plants in areas of the HMA, which impacts the overall availability of forage grasses within the HMA and has reduced the number of wild horses that can be supported by current range conditions.
Of the approximate 132 wild horses released back to the range, an estimated 66 mares will receive a 22-month porcine zona pellucida immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment prior to release. This vaccine will extend the time between gathers, and reduce the number of excess wild horses that would need to be removed in the future. The sex ratio of the released animals will be dependent on the sex ratio of th