There’s a new tool coming to the Bureau of Land Management to help manage wild horse populations. The US Geological Survey and the BLM have created PopEquus.
This open-source modeling program predicts the potential outcomes of using non-lethal methods to manage wild horses on public lands. PopEquus provides projections and cost estimates for population control strategies, including using fertility-control vaccines to prevent pregnancies in mares. The BLM says the field offices are committed to managing and protecting wild horses and burros using science and technology to preserve animal and land health, especially as overpopulation threatens the habitat of horses and other wildlife. PopEquus is said to be an invaluable tool for BLM staff and managers to compare and implement different management strategies to slow herd growth and reduce overpopulation.
A free public webinar on April 5, 2023, hosted by the Free-Roaming Equid and Ecosystem Sustainability network, will demonstrate PopEquus and allow you to ask questions about the tool. Visit BLM.gov/WHB/science for more information.