Lantry, SD- Inflated hay prices have created an urgent need to downsize wild horse herds at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) Conservation Center, according to ISPMB president Karen Sussman.
“This first time adoption opportunity comes on the heels of a severe drought in South Dakota,” Sussman said. “Not only are hay prices extraordinarily high, it is difficult to find hay unless trucked in from hundreds of miles.”
Given that reality, Sussman said the ISPMB must reduce its four wild horse herds to sustainable levels. “Adoptions of our finest horses to qualified homes will begin at our ranch in Lantry starting August 19th,” she said.
ISPMB HERDS SHOW THAT FUNCTIONAL SOCIAL STRUCTURES CONTRIBUTE TO LOW HERD GROWTH COMPARED TO BLM MANAGED HERDS
As we complete our thirteenth year in studying the White Sands and Gila herds, two isolated herds, which live in similar habitat but represent two different horse cultures, have demonstrated much lower reproductive rates than BLM managed herds. Maintaining the “herd integrity” with a hands off management strategy (“minimal feasible management”) and no removals in 13 years has shown us that functional herds demonstrating strong social bonds and leadership of elder animals is key to the behavioral management of population growth.
Read the rest of the article HERE.
(Estimates are 100,000 livestock dead in western South Dakota)
ISPMB loses 50 horses, mainly youngsters along with four aged adults
The words below cannot even begin to express what we felt and lived through and continue to live through. This story is just a peek into the windows of our souls of those of us who experienced this “storm of the century” first hand.
Thank you for your generosity!
By: Karen Sussman
PO Box 55
Lantry, SD 57636-0055
ISPMB has 12 years of study on herd structures which ultimately could help the BLM make better decisions as to how roundups should occur.
We need to keep the herds together for further study.
Wild horses and burros would not exist in our country today if it were not for the efforts of ISPMB and our first president, Wild Horse Annie, who were instrumental in getting Congress to pass federal legislation in 1971 that gave protection from death and harassment of wild horses and burros on public land. (PL 92-195) Read more about Annie here
Our goal at ISPMB is to prevent the elimination of unique herds and to find a solution that would help to raise the public’s awareness of the need to protect wild horses and burros on public lands. At present, ISPMB is creating a model management program for wild horses in our country and currently manages three unique wild horse herds – the White Sands herd, the Gila herd, and the Catnip herd.
Currently, ISPMB is continuing its observation and study of the herds so that a model management program can be derived. Fertility and recruitment rates are observed along with behaviors of bands and their interaction with each other. Each herd is blood typed and DNA tested. Wild horse herds are far more genetically diverse compared to any breed of domestic horse in our country. (Dr. Gus Cothran-Equine Geneticist)
On March 13, 2013 the "Safeguard American Food Exports Act" was introduced in the 113th Congress which will end the inhumane slaughter of American horses in Canada and Mieico by prohibiting transport for purpose of slaughter and human consumption.
The Senate version S-541 was introduced by Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and remains in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The House version HR-1094 was introduced by Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in the house subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit.
So far 21 of 100 Senators have signed onto the bill and 105 of 435 Representatives. It is very important of write a letter to your Congress people in support of this legislation and to thank them if they have already signed onto the bill. To find out if your Congress person has signed onto the bill, you can call our office (605-964-6866) or go to The Library of Congress. This site will list all those who are supporting this bill.
The bill numbers to check to see if your representative or senator signed on to the SAFE Act. S-541 HR 1094
ISPMB would like to share with you the extraordinary behaviors we observe in our wild horse herds. This information is intended to show the true spirit and magnificence of these wild animals which are fast disappearing from our American landscapes. Your donations will help our work.
The “will to live” of a wild horse is one of the most extraordinary qualities of the “wild.” We don’t always see this trait in domestic horses but it is in nearly every wild horse I have ever met. At all costs, wild horses will survive.
Read more and see pictures HERE...
A 451 page report was issued by the National Research Council for the National Academy of Science by a committee of experts that addressed specific tasks requested by the Bureau of Land Management. This report was peer-reviewed and signed off by the Committee members and the National Academies.
The following findings of the report, we believe, will benefit the management of wild horses and burros. Read more and access the reports HERE.