Small Herd Size is Pushing Horses to Genetic Collapse
The North Carolina State Horse urgently needs your help. The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, S 3448, sponsored by North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and cosponsored by NC Senator Richard Burr, has been sitting in the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee since March of this year. It was passed unanimously by the US House of Representatives on February 6. This bill is absolutely critical to the long term survival of the free-roaming wild horses living north of Corolla.
The bill mandates that the herd be managed at 120 – 130 with never less than 110, which is the absolute minimum for genetic and physical health in this wild population. Currently, United States Fish & Wildlife Service (owner of 3,000 of the 7,544 total acres accessible to the wild horses) is insisting that the herd size be 60. Results of recent genetic testing show an alarming level of inbreeding and the presence of only one maternal line. In contrast, the wild horses of Shackleford Banks (Cape Lookout National Seashore) have been managed at the level that we are requesting (120 – 130) for nearly 15 years, on 3,000 acres, with no unacceptable impact to the environment. The Shackleford horses are federally protected by the Shackleford Banks Act that was sponsored by US Congressman Walter Jones (NC) and signed into law in 1998 by President Bill Clinton.
In the last 7 years of our aerial counts, the maximum number of wild horses on the Currituck National Refuge was 35. This year there were 8 and another year there were 0! The majority of the herd is consistently found on private property – not wildlife refuge.
Managing the Corolla herd at 60 is managing for genetic collapse and eventual extinction. In 2010, these wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs were designated by the NC Legislature as the North Carolina State Horse. WE ARE ASKINGFOR YOUR HELP TO SAVE THE WILD HORSES OF COROLLA FROM DISAPPEARING FROM THE LAND THEY HAVE INHABITED FOR CENTURIES.
Time is running out. Soon, Congress will recess for the holidays. If the bill is not passed, it will have to be introduced in the US House of Representatives and the process will start all over again. Please contact Senators Hagan and Burr and let them know that you not only strongly support the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act (S3448) you want it passed by the end of this year.
Please act today. Be a voice for the horses. They are an integral part of the history of our country and without your help and support, they may disappear forever.
Senator Kay Hagan: http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/ FAX: 202-228-2563; Phone: 202-224-6342
Senator Richard Burr: http://burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
FAX: 202-228-2981; Phone: 202-224-3154
LETTERS SENT BY US MAIL WILL NOT REACH THE SENATORS IN TIME AS THEY UNDERGO IRRADIATION
- Salazar’s Ties to Wild Horse Slaughter Buyer Questioned (rtfitchauthor.com)
- DoI Secretary Salazar Punches Wild Horse in the Mouth (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Advocates decry BLM’s wild horse roundups at meeting in SLC (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Update: Wild Horse & Burro Advocate Letters Reach President Obama via Congressman Jim Moran (rtfitchauthor.com)