Native Species American Wild Horses Published Scientific References Supporting 'Wild Horse Fire Brigade'

'Understanding ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’ And the Supporting Science of Wildfire Herbivory' 


​[1] MANAGED TO EXTINCTION? A 40th Anniversary Legal Forum assessing the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act; TRANSCRIPT: ROSS MACPHEE, Curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) View here.

[2] Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. View here.

[2a] Ancient DNA Discovery Reveals Woolly Mammoths, Wild Horses Survived Thousands of Years Longer Than Believed. View here.

[3] The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California recognized wild horses as native species, explaining that BLM “establishes Appropriate Management Levels (“AMLs”) for populations of native species - including wild horses, burros, and other wildlife - and introduced animals, such as livestock.” In Defense of Animals, et al. v. U.S. Dept. Interior, et al., No. 12-17804, *6 (9th Cir. May 12, 2014). On Sep 28, 2011 (See Craters AR at 16698. Memorandum Decision & Order) The court addresses “sensitive” species pursuant to BLM's 2001 Special Status Species Policy. This Policy requires that “sensitive” species be afforded, at a minimum, the same protections as candidate species for listing under the ESA. It called on BLM managers to “obtain and use the best available information deemed necessary to evaluate the status of special status species in areas affected by land use plans . . . .” See Policy at § 6840.22A. Under the Policy, those land use plans “shall be sufficiently detailed to identify and resolve significant land use conflicts with special status species without deferring conflict resolution to implementation-level planning.”

[4] Land Held Hostage: A History of Livestock and Politics; Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph.D.

Citation by: Professor Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph.D: “The most severe vegetation changes of the last 5400 years occurred during the past 200 years. The nature and timing of these changes suggest that they were primarily caused by 19th-century open-land sheep and cattle ranching.” View here.

[5] Foods of wild horses, deer, and cattle in the Douglas Mountain area, Colorado. Hansen, R. M., Clark, R. C., & Lawhorn, W. (1977). Journal of Range Management, 30(2), 116-118. View here.

[6] Evolution of wild horses and cattle and the effect on range damage. View here.

[7] Federal Forestlands In Oregon. View here.

[8] Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores: "By altering the quantity and distribution of fuel supplies, large herbivores can shape the frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution of fires across a landscape”.  William J. Ripple1, Thomas M. Newsome1,2,Christopher Wolf1, Rodolfo Dirzo3, Kristoffer T. Everatt4, Mauro Galetti5, Matt W. Hayward4,6, Graham I. H. Kerley4, Taal Levi7, Peter A. Lindsey8,9, David W. Macdonald10, Yadvinder Malhi11, Luke E. Painter7, Christopher J. Sandom10, John Terborgh12 and Blaire Van Valkenburgh13 

[9] Rewilding: Jozef Keulartz. "The removal of large herbivores has adverse effects on landscape structure and ecosystem functioning. In wetter ecosystems, the loss of large herbivores is associated with an increased abundance of woody plants and the development of a closed-canopy vegetation. In drier ecosystems, reductions of large grazers can lead to a high grass biomass, and thus, to an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Together, with the loss of a prey base for large carnivores, these changes in vegetation structures and fire regimes may trigger cascades of extinctions (Bakker et al., 2016; Estes et al., 2011; Hopcraft, Olff, & Sinclair, 2009; Malhi et al., 2016)." View here.

[10] Wild horses: Are they being managed to extinction? William E. Simpson II. View here.

[11] Cattle Grazing Effects on Macroinvertebrates in an Oregon Mountain Stream; Rangeland Ecology and Management 60(3), 293-303, (1 May 2007) James D. McIver and Michael L. McInnis. View here.

[12a] Lingering effects of contraception management on feral mare (Equus caballus) fertility and social behavior. View here.

[13] Influence of ruminant digestive processes on germination of ingested seeds. View here.

[13a] Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions and the functional loss of long-distance seed-dispersal services. View here.

[13b] 9 Facts About Horse Manure by Katherine Blocksdorf. View here.

[14] Ruminant Digestion. View here.

[14a] Horse dung germinable seed content in relation to plant species abundance, diet composition and seed characteristics. View here.

[14b] Horses and Manure by Michael Westendorf, Extension Specialist in Animal Sciences & Uta Krogmann, Extension Specialist in Solid Waste Management. View here.

[14c] Fire grazing: Why wild horses can do better than cattle in wildfire battle. View here.

[14d] Wild horses, wildfire and wildlife: An overlooked ecological imbalance. View here.

[15] Public lands bear the ecological brunt of livestock grazing. View here.

[16] Wild Horse Fire Brigade - Rebalancing North American Ecosystems. View here.

[17] Yes world, there were horses in Native culture before the settlers came. View here.

[18] Project to Reform Public Land Grazing in Northern California. View here.

[19] Large herbivore can reduce fire risks. Large herbivore can reduce fire risks
Around the world, wildfires are posing major risks to people and nature; domestic and wild animals can help prevent them. View here.

[20] On Natural Selection of Wild Equids via Predation:
Knopff KH, Knopff AA, Kortello A, Boyce MS. (2010). Cougar Kill Rate and Prey Composition in a Multiprey System. Journal of Wildlife Management 74(7):000–000; 2010; DOI: 10.2193/2009-314. View here.

[21] French, Brett. (2010, December 9). Ferocious appetites: Study finds mountain lions may be eating more than previously believed. Billings Gazette. View here.

[22] Turner JW Jr and Morrison ML. (2001). Influence of Predation by Mountain Lions on Numbers and Survivorship of a Feral Horse Population. The Southwestern Naturalist. Vol. 46, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 183-190. View here.


[23] Greger, Paul D. and Romney, Evan M. (1999). High foal mortality limits growth of a desert feral horse population in Nevada. Great Basin Naturalist: Vol. 59: No. 4, Article 10. View here.

[24] French, Brett. (2004, August 12). Lions blamed for deaths of Pryor foals. Billings Gazette. View here.




  • A Geographic Assessment of the Global Scope for Rewilding with Wild-Living Horses (Equus ferus). View here.



  • Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. View here.

  • The Surprising History of America's Wild Horses By Jay F. Kirkpatrick , Patricia M. Fazio. View here.

  • Pennsylvania Equine Council. View here.