The first week of Triple B wraps with 5 days of flight that captured 248 (77 Stallions, 124 Mares, and 47 Foals), 159 (55 Stallions, 76 Mares, and 28 Foals) shipped to Sutherland off-limits to viewing facility in Utah and 4 deaths (listed in the ongoing daily brief, HERE).
Foaling season and what roundups have shown us so far this year
Today, 69 (20 Stallions, 37 Mares, and 12 Foals) were captured. We continue to see young foals. Anecdotally, a comparison between the number of foals brought in a Buffalo Hills in NV (7/1-7/9), showed of the number of foals captured represents about 12%. Triple B in NV (that began flight on 7/17, has demonstrated about 19%. It could be said that foaling season percentage rise is due to season?
The difference could also be influenced due to the fact that Buffalo Hills has not had a large-scale roundup in a long time (a 2020 roundup removed about 12% of the existing population, 2022 was more than 50% and probably exploded birth rates in coming years). Triple B has been hit with multiple large-scale removals since the 2017 EA was approved (the underlying paperwork BLM is using to justify this operation). It should also be noted that Buffalo Hills had no fertility control onboard; at Triple B the agency has been increasing the use with each extremely large-scale operation (is there a science based equation on efficacy in the face of constant mass removal driving up birth rates in the EA?). Regardless, there are significant differences worth looking at.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) did find, in 2013, that “Management practices are facilitating high horse population growth rates.” Large-scale removals cause compensatory reproduction. Is BLM causing the exact problems they repeatedly complain about and base “solutions” on politics, buddy-clubs and myth instead of science?
BLM does not keep site-by-site foaling season data. According to the BLM handbook, foaling season is supposed to be one of the factors determined on a site-by-site basis (when it is safe to use a chopper) in the Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP). In the vast majority of cases, they don’t have those either. (An HMAP would also determine if, what kind, when, fertility control should be used and if it will help or hurt the herd. How AML and forage allocations are determined and when they will be reviewed. etc. )
Watching a roundup raises questions about the welfare and handling of wild horses and burros. However, you can see a lot about the flaws in underlying planning each day as well.
One thing we can see clearly, it IS foaling season. Anyone with eyes can see it.
The little one gets separated from family and wanders near trap and is roped (video above). The foal seems to be relieved at first to see horses and goes toward them, but then the foal is roped. The trap is over 1.3 miles from observers.
This is the same trap site we described yesterday where the far side of the trap is littered with standing, drooping and downed barbed wire.
The day heats up quickly and trap is over 1.3 miles from the observation location. Keep that in mind as you view the video below and the “push to trap” where a tiny foal breaks off (either exhausted or sore) and tries to rejoin as the band makes the push up the last leg toward the catch pen.
The capture of 69 wild horses creates a lot of video footage. We do our best to bring the roundup to you. However, there is not enough time to load all of the hours we spend at trap onto the website each day. We add additional footage to the reviews we do at the halfway mark and the end of these large roundups. Triple B targets 1900 for capture and is on the schedule through September 4.
This beautiful wild horse came up behind observation and looked toward observers and the trap, probably after evading capture our going back to look for family. She then heads down the road and back into the hills. Hide… hide.
Video below: more babies. You can learn more about “baby feet” and the lax tendons most foals have for the first few weeks of life. That is one of the reasons BLM should be making a data-based determination of foaling season and stop using a boilerplate west wide. (CLICK HERE)
You can see extended video reports:
Our team remains onsite. More from the field and updates on the legal front soon.
Help keep us in the field and in the fight.
Categories: Wild Horse Education