Working with the University of Wyoming, the BLM will be collaring 30 mustang mares with GPS collars to gather information on herd movement in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area of southwestern Wyoming.
The Adobe Town herd will be the subject of a study by the University of Wyoming (UW) in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), with gathering of the herd slated to start sometime in the middle of February. The purpose of the study is to gather information about how wild horses interact with their environment: UW seeks to learn more about seasonal movements, habitat selection and migration, as well as information about the horses travel across the border between Colorado and Wyoming. The BLM will be able to use this information to make better decisions about the herds and the rangeland.
In the next few weeks, the BLM will be primarily bait-trapping mustangs in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area and selecting up to 30 mares to be fitted with GPS collars and released. The collars include a remote drop feature, meaning that they can be removed remotely in the event of emergency. No horses will be removed from the range during this gather.
The Adobe Town Herd Management Area includes what the BLM refers to as a “public-private matrix,” meaning that within the HMA the land is managed in a checkerboard pattern by several different parties, including not only the BLM but state and private management as well. This study will provide the BLM with valuable insight into how mustangs move across this land and their interactions with various obstacles and features. The BLM will also be able to determine the best places to release gathered horses that have strayed off of the HMA.The Adobe Town Herd Management Area has also hosted similar studies for mule deer and pronghorn, both of which were successfully radio-collared. As all three of these species compete for similar resources, this study should prove valuable to determine what kind of ecological balance is at work in Adobe Town and help the BLM make the best decisions regarding the health of the Adobe Town mustangs.With the possibility of public land sales looming in the nation’s future, any information that can be gathered about the wildlife and mustangs that call public lands home will be a valuable tool for helping to keep wild spaces wild.Details on the gather may be found here, and detailed maps and documents can be found here.