Our blog series, Herds Across the West, examines wild horses and burros by herd, Herd Management Area (HMA) and state to provide a deeper understanding as we report on roundups and actions affecting each region.
Black Mountain Herd Management Area | Mohave County, Arizona
About the Herds
More wild burros call Arizona home than anywhere else in the West. Close to 7,000 burros are estimated to roam the western part of the state, where these hardy animals are highly adapted to the harsh desert environment.
One of the largest and most genetically healthy burro populations in the country lives in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA), a 1.1 million-acre public lands area. The burros are thought to be North African Ancestry and are descendants of burros that were brought by miners and prospectors from the early 1860s.
The burros share the mountains with the largest herd of desert bighorn sheep on public lands in the nation.
Where To Find Them
The Black Mountain HMA is in northwestern Arizona, South East of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 15 miles west of Kingman, AZ. The area parallels the eastern shoreline of the Colorado River for 80 miles, from Hoover Dam south to the Needles Bridge in California. The historic gold mining town of Oatman lies in the center of the southern half of the HMA, along Historic Route 66.
This region is volcanic in origin, and as such is characterized by large mesas, steep cliffs, slopes, rocky foothills, alluvial fans and sandy washes. The climate is hot, windy and dry, with summertime temperatures exceeding 120 degrees and winter lows around 25 degrees.
**Time-sensitive notice on Black Mountain HMA (April 1, 2020)**
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on a roundup and removal plan for the Black Management Area (HMA) in Arizona. The goal of this BLM action is to use roundups, skewing of sex ratios, and fertility control tools to achieve the AML of 478 wild burros and ultimately maintain a population within AML. The BLM estimates that the population is currently about 1,727 burros over AML.