Two runs on the last day saw 27 captured (26 adults and 1 foal) in 2 runs: 7 and 20.
During the entire operation only 49 foals were captured. If the foaling season has truly ended (as the BLM claims), this number represents only about a 12% foaling rate.
The agency insists western wild horse herds grow at a rate of 20-25% each year forcing them to do mass removals and to push fertility controls that include sterilization. The number of foals captured at Buffalo Hills does not represent the asserted herd growth rate; no deaths are included in that percentage. If we use these numbers and BLM statements about foaling season as a guide, the growth rate of Buffalo Hills is demonstrated to be around 10-11% with no fertility controls onboard.
The agency plans to apply GonaCon to mares for release. The exact number was not relayed (nor release date), but will be 25-30 mares.
The goal of the BLM 2020 plan is to get populations to low AML and apply a plethora of different fertility control treatments. At Buffalo Hills low AML for the 131,861 acre HMA is 188.
BLM captured 380 wild horses but never released a pre-roundup flight number so we cannot give you any estimate left on the range.
Buffalo Hills also demonstrated multiple issues with the humane handling policy. The operation saw wild horses collide with barbed wired, a mare break her neck at trap and runs approved before her body was removed, a wild horse dragged by the neck, a foal slammed to the ground and tied to an ATV.
The law already states that wild horses are to be handled humanely (that is how we won cases in court to drive and implement policy changes). Congress saying BLM must comply with the policy is not (obviously) enough.
Helicopter drive capture must be suspended and a full investigation must occur.
A big “thank you” to our onsite observer and support team.
Does Buffalo Hills only grow at about 10% annually (as roundup numbers show), or is it foaling season right now on the range? BLM seems to want to have it both ways…. “population numbers explode each year so we need to keep slamming populations down near genetic collapse AND we can round them up when we say foaling season has ended even though the numbers born are half of what we say.” A bit contradictory, eh?