Our understanding of the spatial ecology of feral horses (Equus ferus caballus ) and burros (E . asinus ) in the United States is limited. Robust location data are needed to better understand the permeability of Bureau of Land Management Herd Management Area boundaries, relative to feral horse movement patterns and home ranges. To increase our understanding of feral horse movement, in February to March 2017, we deployed global positioning system (GPS) collars on 14 females ≥5 years old that were captured in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area (ATHMA) of southcentral Wyoming, USA. Herein, we report initial results from movement data collected during summer (May 15 to September 15) 2017 for 9 horses. We limited our focus to these 9 horses because we received at least 2 months of continuous GPS location data from them during summer 2017. Feral horse daily movement distances averaged 9.0 km (SE = 0.3), and mean summer total home range size was 40.4 km2 (SE = 6.7). Of GPS location fixes obtained, 44.9% were outside ATHMA and 10.8% were on private land. Our results highlight the types of data that GPS collars can provide and illustrate the difficulties of managing free-roaming species such as horses and burros on landscapes with heterogeneous sociopolitical patterns. Expanded use of such technology on feral horses and burros in the United States will yield greater insight on spatial complexities constraining management.
Hennig, Jacob D.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; and Scasta, J. Derek
"Spatial Ecology Observations From Feral Horses Equipped With Global Positioning System Transmitters,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 12
, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol12/iss1/9