Managing Feral Horses on National Park Service Lands
For most people, the mention of wild horses in the United States conjures images of Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-administered American Mustangs roaming the West. However, pockets feral horses also live throughout the country on National Park Service (NPS) lands and are managed by this federal agency.
Jenny Powers, DVM, PhD, an NPS wildlife veterinarian, presented the unique challenges of managing feral horses on NPS lands during the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also described the NPS’s relationship with the BLM in co-managing these horses.
Horses and ponies currently reside in about 20 NPS units; 10 units contain feral donkeys and burros. These herds include, among others, the famous Assateague Island ponies residing off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, the Shackleford ponies of Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina, and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park feral horses in North
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