Wild Horses and Burros: Facts versus Opinions
By Don Molde
What’s wrong with roundups for wild horses? Two things come to mind.
Cattle and domestic sheep have no definable regulatory social structure by which they live their lives. Wild horses, by their evolutionary history, prefer to live in a band structure, with a stallion and lead mare providing leadership.
Generally, only the lead mare becomes pregnant. Subadult females in the band assist in keeping the band structure intact but do not bear young. When a BLM roundup destroys that band structure with an ill-advised roundup, subadult mares are available for breeding.
Wildlife agencies tell hunters that, by killing wildlife, hunters are helping the target species (e.g., deer) because of ‘compensatory’ mortality. Translated, the notion is that killing an animal leaves slightly better conditions for those members of the species that remain alive…. e.g., a bit more to eat, a little more to drink, a bit more space to move around.