Today is a major milestone for us. One year ago, we established the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses on the famed Virginia Range wild horse herd in Nevada.
Our mission was to prove that there is an effective and cost-efficient way to humanely manage wild horse populations without expensive roundups, crowded holding corrals, or dangerous sterilization surgeries.
We’re proud to announce that this program hasn’t just been a success, it has exceeded all expectations. And we wanted to give you an inside look at this historic program as we expand on this work in the months ahead.
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In our program, volunteer darters deliver the safe and effective fertility control vaccine PZP remotely to wild mares on the range. The vaccine is 97% effective in preventing pregnancy and is an excellent tool to keep wild horses in balance with their environment.
And, unlike the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) $81 million-a-year roundup program, our program is cost-effective and most importantly, keeps wild horses where they belong: in the wild.
From the get-go, there were skeptics: “How do you expect to deliver fertility control in such a large wild horse population in such a vast habitat area?”
But we didn’t back down from the challenge. Our team -- including our incredible volunteers -- worked hard, day-in and day-out. And tens of thousands of you supported this work along the way.
Over the course of this past year, our mostly volunteer team delivered over 1,700 fertility control treatments (primers and boosters) to more than 950 mares in the 300,000-acre Virginia Range. That number represents nearly 80% of the reproductive-age mares in this roughly 3,000-horse mustang population.
The Stunning News? Our team actually OUTPERFORMED the BLM’s own program to administer fertility control!
We didn’t do this alone. This successful effort would not be possible without our village of partners and supporters -- the Nevada Department of Agriculture, political and business leaders, including Governor Steve Sisolak, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, tech company Blockchains LLC and real estate developer Lance Gilman, to local wild horse organizations, our amazing team of dedicated volunteers, and generous supporters like you.
I hope that you feel as proud as I do of this work, our team in Nevada, and what we have all achieved together.
Even as we celebrate these accomplishments, we know that this work is far from over. The BLM and the livestock industry continue to push for a multi-billion dollar plan to round up and remove more than 100,000 wild horses from public lands in the next ten years.
We’ll continue to fight back using every resource at our disposal. And, even during these difficult times for our country, we’ll work to expand our operations in Nevada -- home to more than half of the nation’s remaining wild horses -- to show that wild horses can be managed humanely and to ensure that America’s mustangs stay wild and free.
Thank you for supporting us,
Suzanne Roy, Executive Director