Drought pushes feral horses to the brink

Intense drought conditions are causing springs and vegetation to dry up, impacting the American West’s wild horses.©BLM Nevada

Drought conditions in the American West are causing problems for feral horses (Equus ferus), requiring intense management measures. For the first time, volunteers are bringing thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to the horses’ grazing areas where drought has caused springs and vegetation to dry up. In Colorado, volunteers are preparing to bring around 5,000 gallons of water per day to a population of 750 feral horses. Federal land managers have also started emergency roundups of horses in Utah and Nevada deserts. Areas in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are under severe drought conditions, and California and Missouri are under the most extreme conditions. While the Bureau of Land Management and others argue wild horse population numbers are too high, others advocate for keeping the horses at higher numbers.

Read more in The Associated Press, and read the TWS issue statement on feral horses and burros.