Does anyone know where I can get a map of the vegetation mustangs eat and/or migration patterns? Please help!!
This is for a big project I'm doing in school. I'm having a really hard time finding good sites, so any help would be really great! :)
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Eat? It depends on the area they are in.
Wild horses eat grass or roughage and drink water from seeps, springs, streams, or lakes. Adults eat about 5 to 6 pounds of plant food each day. Wild horses are able to process dry and course grasses and other vegetation. When grass is scant, they well eat anything that grows; leaves, goose bushes, young twigs, even tree bark. They drink twice a day and also seek out needed mineral salt deposits.
Wild horses lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the vast semiarid reaches of the West. They may roam over a few to several hundred, even a thousand or more, square miles, depending on the lushness of vegetation and the availability of water and shelter. They do not camp at their watering sites as do cattle and sheep, probably due to a survival instinct.
Historically, wild horses have been removed, displaced from more productive rangelands with good water. Moreover, western lands continued to deteriorate because of overgrazing by cattle. Today, the habitat of most wild horses are public lands. In the west, these are desert scrublands with low rainfall and few water sources.
Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the U.S. Department of the Interior manages herds of mustangs and donkeys in several western states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. There are smaller populations of feral horses in Alaska, Missouri, Nebraska and some on a few Outer Banks islands of North Carolina. Some wild horse herds are managed and protected by the U.S. Forest Service.
There four main wild-horse herds in the U.S. that have possible Spanish origins and are largely genetically intact; they have survived and reproduced with little outside influence since their ancestors were lost, swiped, or left by conquistadors and priests. The herds are all managed by the BLM: the Sulphur herd in Utah, Pryor Mountain herd in Montana, Cerbat/Marble Canyon herd in Arizona, and the Kiger herd in Oregon.
Estimates are that less than 20 thousand wild horses roam the west, and the BLM claims that the land can only healthily sustain a population of about 24,000. The Wild Horses and Burro Freedom Alliance disagrees with these claims and maintains that government policies are pushing the wild horse and burro populations toward extinction. The BLM runs a wild horse adoption program that offers about 8,000 selected animals to the public for $125.