In January we shared with you news about our $15,000 grant to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) to support a program to humanely manage the wild horses of Nevada’s historic Virginia Range. The goal of this partnership is to keep these historic horses wild and free using a safe, scientifically-proven and humane approach to manage the more than 1,500 wild horses that inhabit the magnificent Virginia Range, which encompasses more than 280,000 acres in northern Nevada.
We recently received this update from AWHPC and are proud to share it with you today:
"The first-of-its-kind Cooperative Agreement between the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) and the Nevada Department of Agriculture to humanely manage the wild horses on the Virginia Range in Northern Nevada has reached several milestones recently!
Under the Cooperative Agreement, AWHPC’s goals were to begin the important step of administering on-the-range fertility control by inoculating 150 horses with the PZP vaccine in the first year (requiring two darts, a primer and a booster each) and to document and initiate a database of the horses living in the 300,000 acre Virginia Range.
We are happy to report that, thanks to the generosity of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, four individuals were trained at the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Montana and are now certified to dart wild horses with the birth control vaccine. This team went on to reach our darting goal of 150 horses in the first seven months of the program. The horses are darted under a strict protocol as outlined by the Science and Conservation Center and in cooperation with the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
Our database of Virginia Range wild horses now includes over 1,000 horses detailing physical descriptions and photos of each entry, along with association to bands, births, and frequented areas of the range. We will forever be thankful to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for their support in this historic endeavor. We strive every day to protect and preserve America’s wild horses and burros in viable free-roaming herds, for generations to come, as part of our national heritage, and we are proud to have ISF on our team as we fight for the future of these national icons."
Photos courtesy of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC).