The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

BLM to Apply Fertility Control on Mares in the Rock Creek HMA

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 23, 2010

TMP Disclaimer!!! 

The opinions, decisions, and directives outlined in the BLM Press Release below – and any other BLM Press Release past or future – are solely the BLM’s opinions, decisions, and directives. They are in no way, shape, form or fashion a reflection of the opinions held by TMP and its authors / contributors, nor are the decisions and directives exclusively supported by TMP and its authors / contributors. The BLM Press Releases are posted here purely for the purposes of information distribution.
Thank you,
TracieLynn and the TMP Team

BLM Nevada News
For immediate release: Friday, July 23, 2010
Contact:  JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515, 

BLM to Apply Fertility Control on Mares

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gathered 103 wild horses in the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) without incident or injury on Thursday, July 22. The animals gathered included 31 studs, 58 mares and 14 foals.  The Rock Creek gather will continue on Friday. The BLM will apply fertility control on the mares gathered from the HMA. Once treated, the mares will be released back into the HMA. The BLM also plans to adjust the sex ratio of animals released back to the HMA to 60 percent studs and 40 percent mares.
“The positive results of applying fertility control and adjusting the sex ratios will be to slow population growth and help us maintain population size within appropriate management levels in the HMA,” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director. “These actions also will extend the time before another gather will be required to remove excess wild horses.”
The BLM contractor conducted gather operations from 6:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Temperatures ranged from 61 to 82 degrees, resulting in minimal stress on the horses from heat.
“The Rock Creek horses we gathered are in much better condition than those in the Owyhee HMA because the lack of water is not a critical issue,” added Wenker.  “The BLM and the gather contractor will use the same care, skill and compassion to humanely gather these animals as was used to save the Owyhee horses.”
The BLM anticipates removing approximately 425 excess wild horses that have moved outside the Rock Creek HMA.  These animals are causing considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands, as well as impacts to habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
The excess wild horses will be shipped either to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, or to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks, Nev.  During the next several months all the animals will be closely monitored, provided good feed, water and veterinarian care as needed.
The animals will be wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and all 12 month and older studs will be gelded.  Once the wild horses have fully recovered, they will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro.
The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt HMAs.  The BLM concluded emergency rescue gather operation in the Owyhee HMA on Tuesday, July 20.
As more information becomes available it will be posted at the website:  For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826.


7 Responses to “BLM to Apply Fertility Control on Mares in the Rock Creek HMA”

  1. Linda H said

    Horses at Tuscarora were 4-5 body condition and these were in better condition. What does that tell us? There is no emergency, except in the pocket book of Cattoors and their schedule conflicts and the first priority of deer hunters.

    • said

      4-5 BCS (Body Condition Score) does not relate to the acute setting of dehydration. It is specific to how a horse’s body appears physically on the OUTSIDE, not the inside. BCS would not be a tool to show the levels of dehydration or hyponatremia.

  2. Deb Bennett said

    No mention of any observers-just BLM saying we treated the horses humanely. I would like to see independent proof instead of just reading a BLM press release. I find it very hard to believe them after these past months. At least they FINALLY got the update on the Calico horses posted on Friday this week. The last several weeks they have put off doing that until Tuesday of the following week.

  3. Linda said

    Re: Fertility control. How many mares will be returned and what ages? I’m really concerned about herds being without their wise leaders and protectors – both stallions and mares. It seems every time we humans attempt to fiddle with nature’s plan sooner or later there are disasterous results.

    Humans are “civilized’ and no longer part of the natural world. We have sought to replace nature’s true rhythms with scientific study. Science has its place, but it will never be a substitute for turning off the noise of civilization and experiencing what nature has to teach us – up close and personal.

  4. sandra longley said

    Horses who don’t have water for 12 hours will refuse food-even domesticated horses will NOT eat without water..thus-good body condition is a reflection of how long these horses had been without water..and 2 dead in the picture at a water hole. What does that signify?

  5. sandra longley said

    I want to state again..I was in the Owyhee HMA on saturday and sunday this past weekend..i spent the night camped there..I found the only gates opened were at the entrance and exit to this part of the HMA. WHY are the gates being left open to encourage horses to leave the HMAs???? So that they can then be classified as estrays and all be gathered and removed????

  6. sandra longley said

    Please read the doumnted testimony of “real” experts in support of Lauras request for a TRO on rock creek posted at the cloud foundation blog

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