Shawave Roundup

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Shawave colts in their last summer of freedom with their families.

Scroll down for daily reports (after the next photo)

The BLM begins a roundup of 1600 wild horses and 200 wild burros on August 3rd. The operation is expected to last 45-60 days.

The Shawave Mountains HMA  comprises about 177,204 acres of public and private lands. BLM states the Appropriate Management Level (AML) as 82-136 wild horses and zero burros. The BLM states there are 1,722 wild horses and approximately 160 burros as of March 1, 2020 in the area.

BLM plans to capture approximately 1,650 wild horses, remove 1,600 and treat up to 50 mares with the fertility control vaccine, GonaCon. A release back to the HMA would follow at an unspecified date.

It should be noted that Shawave is part of the Blue Wing Complex of HMAs. The Blue Wing Complex is managed for burros, yet the Shawave has set at a “zero” for any expected stocking level for burros. BLM uses the “complex system” as a justification for the extremely low AML of wild horses stating “they can mix with the complex.” Setting a wild burro number at “zero” seems contradictory to any claim of expected movement; if horses can move, so can the burros.

None of these HMAs have an actual management plan (HMAP). An HMAP would be the place that data supporting assertions would be found. It would also be a place where the forage allocation, use as fire fuel reduction* through AML adjustment, etc. would be determined. (*Our data shows that within 2 years of a massive removal like the one at Shawave, a large wildfire occurs due to “grass loads.” This information is provided only as observational data.)

Under the current Appropriations bill the BLM will be obligated to use $11 million of their funding on PZP. The only thing that bill would change at Shawave, would be that the mares would be treated with PZP and not GonaCon. (Please learn more and take ACTION to help us push Congress to defund any operation that does not include a management plan. We will have a 3 part action you can take on this item later this week).

Newest Update at the top, scroll down for earlier reports. 

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A stallion sniff a “stud pile” on the eastern side of the Shawave HMA. Stallions gain critical information about the other stallions in the area from the stud pile, helping them to keep their families safe. The massive roundup begins on the eastern side of the HMA.

Captured to date: 1,645

1,425 Horses (514 Studs, 645 Mares, and 266 Foals)

220 Burros (90 Jacks, 99 Jennies, and 31 Foals)

Deaths: 10

All wild hoses and burros captured will be sent to the overflow facility on Indian Lakes Rd. in Fallon, NV (Broken Arrow). BLM NV has chosen to send them to the “off-limits to open public viewing” facility instead of the Palomino Valley Processing and Adoption facility north of Reno. At this time we do not know when any viewing for potential adopters (and to assess condition of horses and burros) will be facilitated. We will update this page often. 



August 22

Mare broke her neck at trap.

BLM was back at the same smoke filled trap. Wind is expected to shift and two of the fires have been contained. BLM could have waited instead of running wild horses in this lung damaging mess.


August 21

164 (54 Studs, 80 Mares, and 30 Foals) were captured.

Our teams are reporting in from Shawave.

Smoke filled valleys did not stop the choppers from flying today.

“A dustier trap could not have been found if you were looking for one. Between the smoke and the dust today was simply foul and unnecessary. BLM has 18 days left to catch 500 wild horses. Instead of waiting they pushed. It was disgusting and cruel.

The wild horses are being taken directly to the off-limits facility in Fallon. Run, trapped, loaded, stuck on a semi to wait for the next load, and the two plus hour drive to Fallon. No water. No place to breath. Ignorance, cruelty or greed? you pick motive.”

In the range of 100 wild horses were captured that we could, barely, see. Even the helicopter covered itself with dust.”

View video here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/08/22/extreme-roundup-shawave/

August 20, smoke from the Scrabble fire cause operations to be called off after arrival at trap location.

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August 19 trap moved, no capture


August 18

30 wild horses were captured in 3 runs. The last run was at temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. No dust control was done at trap. You can see the day in pictures here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/08/18/shawave-a-day-in-pictures-august-18/

No observation at holding was allowed. We believe the reason was because everyone was hot and wanted to get back to their rooms. BLM claimed a “private property” issue. However, observation had been facilitated and the temp holding is a contract done with the permittee and the capture of a pubic resource. We think? they were just too hot.

August 17 (pictures from holding above)

It was extremely hot today. Temperatures at trap hit 95 degrees. After leaving holding the daytime high was 102.

38 wild horses were captured today including this one that fought loading and continued to try to escape the trailer/

As more info comes in from the team. this report will update.

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Our teams are reporting in from other HMAs. We are getting reports of dead horses die to long standing issues the BLM just will not rectify. (more here)

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Wild horses in temporary holding awaiting release after treatment with GonaCon.

Day 5

90 (28 Studs, 42 Mares, and 20 Foals) were captured.

BLM continued at the same trap.

After days of pushing to see temporary holding, we can finally show you some of the faces of the captive wild horses before BLM shoves them into an off-limits holding facility.

You can read more about Shawave and a glimpse at our decade long fight for the publics First Amendment rights. HERE

Some capture photos from Day 5

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August 6, day 4

126 (44 Studs, 55 Mares, and 27 Foals) captured

The same band that was run for hours on day 3, was captured day 4. The foal could not keep up and was roped. Another foal was roped. One was chased in by itself.

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Once again observation of the temporary corrals was denied.

More coming soon. 

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August 5, day 3.

captured: 137 (45 Studs, 66 Mares, and 26 Foals)

One death. BLM is saying that a 15 year old stud suffered a hemorrhage after the run because he has lymphatic cancer.

Our observers are reporting extremely long run at the 3rd day at the same trap location. One un was document 66 minutes in view, and other that broke from the first run and was part of runs all day. That band was left on range. The band of 7 will be targeted again today as BLM returns to the same trap.

We have suggested BLM allow the area to “settle” and move to a new location. They can go back to this location if needed after the area has time to settle. If wild horses in the area are suffering from things like lymphatic cancer, and can be run to hemorrhage, or any body score that they use to justify euthanasia, the area needs care.

BLM is going back to the same trap day 4, Our observers are onsite.

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 more soon as photos and video is edited

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August 4, day 2

141 captured, 5 deaths.

BLM words below:

  • 20+ year old, Bay Stallion, severe tooth loss, BCS 2, was euthanized in accordance with IM 2015-070 with a hopeless prognosis for recovery.
  • 20+ year old, Bay Stallion, missing eye, BCS 2, was euthanized in accordance with IM 2015-070 with a hopeless prognosis for recovery.
  • 7-year old, Bay Mare, BCS 2, with a previous pelvis fracture; was euthanized in accordance with IM 2015-070 with a hopeless prognosis for recovery.
  • Bay yearling stud, broke neck in the holding facility.
  • 5-year old, Bay Mare, died during transport.

Our observers are reporting in. The estimate number of wild horses captured today falls around 140. Files are being reviewed. Viewing location is about a mile away.

No observation of the temporary corrals were allowed today.

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2 wild horses appear to have collapsed, but rose again, inside the trap. Temperature at trap did not exceed 88 degrees.

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As reports and video load, we will update often.

You can take a “3-step” Senate action to push the program toward actual management. Click HERE for more.

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August 3, day 1

Check in at start of day: Wild Horse Education team members are in field. Our observers have reported in that BLM has stated: at 90 degrees BLM will assess the roundup and begin to address calling it for the day due to the temperature guidelines in CAWP. 

Preliminary Daily Report:

About 181 wild horses captured on the first day of Shawave. 2 evaded capture at the trap. Colt collided with trap panel and was euthanized.  5 runs of large groups. Last run at aprox 12:50 pm. Viewing location is about a mile from trap.

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2 studs jumped panels at temporary holding and escaped.

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As reports come in we will update this page, often. Photo and video editing is ongoing and images will be added as edits complete. 


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Team coverage Summer roundups 2020

Helicopter Roundups


Range Creek

Bait trap “emergencies” and an action item HERE. 

The schedule is running full steam. We must get help from Congress to obtain real management planning. Learn and take ACTION. 

Our teams meed your help to stay in the field. Wild Horse Education has attended more days of capture than any group, government or public, for more than a decade. We are the only organization to ever take these issues into federal court. Help our roundup team keep running!

If you are shopping online you can help Wild Horse Education by choosing us as your charity of choice on IGive or Amazonsmile.com 


Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education