The Bureau of Land Management issues decision approving Black Mountain Herd Management Area wild burro gather and population control plan

Written by The Bee

August 4, 2020

Decision seeks to address natural resource and public safety impacts caused by overpopulated herd

 

KINGMAN, Arizona – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Kingman Field Office will begin gathering and removing approximately 1,000 wild burros in September 2020 to address overpopulation and damage to the range in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) near Kingman. The agency signed the decision record this week authorizing removal of the excess animals to protect the health of both the wild burro herd and the landscape.

“Animals removed from the Black Mountain HMA will be available for adoption or sale through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Private Placement and Care Program,” said Amanda Dodson, BLM Kingman field manager. “Those that are not placed into private care will be maintained in an off-range pasture facility, where they retain their ‘wild’ status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

Following the completion of the gather, the BLM plans to conduct an aerial survey to determine the remaining number of animals to remove to reach the Appropriate Management Level (AML). The BLM will also use fertility control vaccine treatments and adjust sex ratios to reduce population growth to achieve and maintain AML.

The estimated wild burro population in the Black Mountain HMA is more than 2,200 — nearly four times greater than the target population of 478, creating impacts to landscape health and wildlife. In addition, wild burros that have wandered onto private lands outside the HMA seeking food and water have caused public safety impacts on area roadways as well as private property damage. For these reasons, local communities in Mohave County have requested that the BLM address the wild burro overpopulation in the Black Mountains and return the HMA to its target population level.

Wild burros essentially have no natural predators, resulting in a rapid increase in population. If not appropriately managed, herds can double in size every five years. This gather is being conducted to address herd health and over population concerns with a future goal of maintaining a thriving, natural ecological balance to support multiple-use and sustained yield management on public lands in the Black Mountain HMA. The gather will also address human health and safety concerns within the local area related to vehicle collisions with burros on the roadways.

The gather impacts are described and analyzed in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area Wild Burro Gather Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA and Decision Record are posted on the BLM website at: https://go.usa.gov/xVattTo learn more about the program, including how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro.

For further information please contact the Kingman Field Office at 928-718-3700.

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